Australia and ICAO

As a foundation member of ICAO, Australia has contributed significantly to ICAO – including as a Part 1 State of Chief Importance on the ICAO Council - for more than 70 years. Australia participated in the 1944 Convention on International Civil Aviation, and was one of the first States to ratify it.

Since ICAO’s inception, Australia has demonstrated a strong commitment, dependability and leadership in the international civil aviation sector.

We work collaboratively with the international community, regional neighbours and the ICAO to enhance standards and guidance for safety, security and facilitation, air navigation, and environmental protection.

In particular, in the Asia Pacific region where air travel is vital to the economic development and social connectivity of the Pacific Islands, Australia works closely with our Pacific neighbours through providing capacity and capability building assistance on transport safety, air navigation and security issues.

Australia has maintained a Permanent Mission in Montreal for ICAO since 6 June 1945, and is represented on the ICAO Air Navigation Commission. We were successfully re-elected to Part I of the ICAO Council at the 40th Assembly in Montreal in September 2019 as one of the States of chief importance in air transport.

Australia’s international and regional involvement spans all of ICAO's 5 global strategic objectives :

  1. Safety
  2. Air navigation capacity and efficiency
  3. Security and facilitation
  4. Economic development of air transport
  5. Environmental protection.

About ICAO

ICAO is a specialised agency of the United Nations, committed to achieving sustainable growth in the global civil aviation system.

ICAO currently has 193 Member States.

Its mission is to serve as the global forum of States for international civil aviation and to build aviation capacity through the creation of policies and standards, compliance audits, research and analyses. It also provides support and builds aviation capacity through many other activities involving the cooperation of its Member States and stakeholders.

ICAO maintains an administrative and expert bureaucracy, the ICAO Secretariat, supporting these diplomatic interactions as directed and endorsed by governments through the ICAO Assembly, or by the ICAO Council which the Assembly elects.

The ICAO Council comprises 36 Member States elected by the Assembly for a 3-year term. Part I of the Council consists of 11 States of Chief Importance in air transport. Part II consists of States not otherwise included but which make the largest contribution to the provision of facilities for international civil air navigation. Part III consists of States whose inclusion ensures that all major geographic areas of the world are represented on the Council.


The Convention on International Civil Aviation, signed in Chicago on 7 December 1944 (the Chicago Convention), came into force on 4 April 1947. The legal instrument that gives effect to this in Australia is the Air Navigation Act 1920 . The Convention established certain principles and arrangements so international civil aviation can develop in a safe and orderly manner, and that international air transport services be established on the basis of equality of opportunity and operated soundly and economically.