With more advancements in the field of international civil aviation, new and strong friendships and understanding between the different nations all over the world will certainly be built but as everything has both – pros and cons, this field has cons too. This evolution has brought new challenges to be faced along with the commendable progress. These challenges could emerge out as a result of the abuse of such aviation activities that in exchange could lead to threatening the general security of the world at large.

To pursue the aim of providing equal opportunities to every country in the field of international civil aviation by using the services economically and orderly, the different countries became the signatories to the Chicago Convention of 1944.

In this article, we will discuss the rules under which civil aviation operates under the Chicago Convention.

The Chicago Convention 1944

The convention on international civil aviation was concluded in Chicago on 7th December 1944. Fifty-two countries signed this document and the International Civil Aviation organization was established for regulating air travel activities.

Let us now have a look at the different features of this document.

Sovereignty and territory

The document recognizes every state as equally eligible to carry out aviation activities over the space encompassing its territorial area. The territorial area for the reference would be the land areas and the waters adjacent to that land.

Such territorial limits are prescribed to mark the area to be in control of that State whose territory it is.

Difference between civil and state aircraft

State aircraft are the ones that are used in the service related to police, military or customs. Apart from the aircraft used for the above-mentioned purpose are known as civil aircraft.

Now, this convention is only applicable to the civil aircraft and the civil aircraft can only fly over the territory of different countries but the state aircraft are not allowed to do so unless it is authorized by some special agreement.

Furthermore, in such an agreement, it should be made certain by the state of whose state aircraft it is that the necessary arrangements have been made to ensure safety while navigating the state aircraft.

The purpose of the use of civil aviation should not be inconsistent with the provisions made hereto.

Basic information

  • The aircraft of the state has to be registered within its nationality.
  • The aircraft can not be registered in more than one state but in one state at a time. It means it can be transferred from one state to another.
  • Such transfer procedure will be according to the rules of the contracting state, whose nationality the aircraft is going to hold.
  • It should have prominent nationality marks and symbols on it.
  • The state whose nationality the aircraft holds will be one responsible for all its activities.
  • Every contracting state will have to inform the other contracting states or the International Civil Aviation Organization about the information regarding the registration and the ownership of the aircraft if they demand so.

Facilities and standard systems

This convention provides for some rules regarding facilities that have to be adhered to by all contracting states. These facilities include:

  • Constructing airports and air navigation services.
  • Providing radio and meteorological services.
  • Standard system used for lighting, communication, codes, etc.
  • Aeronautics charts and maps.
  • License to all the crew members.

Apart from this, the aircraft should have a radio transmitting apparatus only if the license to install such apparatus is provided. The apparatus should only be used by the crew persons who hold a proper license for such activities.

Also, every aircraft has to stand the test of airworthiness by achieving a certificate regarding it. Along with it, the crew members should have a competency certificate and proper license provided by competent authorities. The competency certificate should be issued only by the state which owns the aircraft and that the owner state’s authorization will only be valid and accepted by the other contracting states. Apart from it, the journey logbooks have to be maintained from time to time and the states can ban any photographic apparatus on board in the aircraft.

Considering the war munitions like cargo, the carrying out operations of which above the territory of another state is completely banned. This is until the state has given permission to the owner state to fly it considering every sort of information relevancy and rules. The permission should be granted without making any kind of bias regarding nationality.


The objectives of the organization are:

  • To make certain, the safety and growth of international civil aviation;
  • To promote the arts of aircraft design;
  • To encourage the operations to take place for peaceful purposes;
  • To promote the development and maintenance of airways, airports, and air navigation facilities;
  • To bring out safe, regular, efficient and economical air transport for the people;
  • To eradicate any kind of economic waste due to unreasonable competition;
  • To respect the rights of contracting State;
  • To make sure that every contracting State has been given a fair opportunity to operate international airlines without any discrimination;
  • Eradicate discrimination between contracting States, if any;
  • To make the safety of flight in international air navigation as a priority;
  • To encourage by all means the development of all ends of international civil aviation.

Its Functions

  • To submit the annual reports to the assembly from time to time.
  • To follow the directions of the assembly.
  • To discharge the functions and obligations delegated by the assembly.
  • The Air transport Committee will be appointed among the representatives of the council and their duties will be allotted by the council itself.
  • It will decide upon the emolument to be given to the president.
  • To appoint a Chief Executive Officer who will be designated as the Secretary-General.
  • Will administer the functions delegated by the assembly.
  • Gather, analyze and work upon the information related to air navigation operations. The information to work on will include – every expenditure occurred and the payments are given to carry forward these activities.
  • If any kind of failure is caused, the council should immediately report it to the other contracting states. This failure includes the delay in taking any action after the notice of infraction, the failure to follow any directions or recommendations.
  • The council will adopt some standards and procedures to be followed by the organization.
  • The council may if a need is felt appoint a subcommittee on air navigation on a regional basis. Further, the council may delegate the duties to this commission along with some other duties mentioned in the convention.
  • The council may from time to time do research in every aspect of the air navigation operations and may submit reports on such a result to the contracting states. Also, act efficiently to communicate the exchange of the information based on the research among the contracting states.
  • To study every condition and situation affecting the operations of air navigation and the plans of the assembly.
  • The council has every right to investigate the situations where there is a chance of hindrance causing the operations and the ongoing plans to be terminated at undesirable ends.

If there are no such provisions made in the Convention or no ruling passed by the assembly, the council will adopt the measures for appointment or termination and the salary and allowances of the personnel and the Secretary-General.

Air Navigation Commission

The state will be composed of twelve members in total which will be decided by the contracting states that are among the members that will be nominated. The members will have to be well experienced in the field of science and aeronautics.

The president of the Air Navigation Commission is appointed by the council whereas the commission will ask for the nominations to the contracting states.

Its functions

  • It will pass recommendations to the council for making any amendments to the convention or adding any new annexes.
  • It may form a technical sub commission to assist.
  • To advise the council for the plans, measures, rules, and regulations made in the interests of growth in air navigation.


The field of air navigation is evolving, wherein, the different countries are coming forward with new technologies to contribute to international civil aviation. In today’s time aviation has been the desirable means of transport and the need to enhance it is the constant want. Every country wants to excel in it, therefore the rules and regulations like the Chicago Convention are the means to protect the interest of the different countries.

Organizations like the International Civil Aviation Organization is the organ which strives to bring in growth and development in this field. The utmost want is the safety and security of the people and the contracting states to the conventions which this organization with its Chicago Convention brought into force.

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