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FAA Celebrates ICAO's 70th AnniversaryDecember 8–Speaking before a distinguished group of international aviation leaders in Chicago, including United Nations Secretary General, Ban-Ki Moon, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta joined U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to congratulate the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on 70 years of work that has vastly improved the safety and efficiency of aviation worldwide. ICAO is the UN’s technical agency for aviation that establishes international standards and recommended practices for aircraft operations and maintenance.  

In 1944, delegates from 52 nations met in Chicago to ensure that the emerging aviation industry would be used for peace, and for the benefit of all nations. The resulting Chicago Convention established the international foundation and principles for the safe, efficient and economic growth of civil aviation.  In the years that followed, ICAO’s importance and influence has grown as exponentially as the number of flights around the world – now at more than 100,000 per day. 

ICAO’s standards have created a foundation for a safe, harmonized, and environmentally responsible aviation system.  It has influenced aircraft design and operation, as well as the development of airways, airports, and air navigation facilities. It ensures the safety and security of civil aviation, as well as global harmonization of air traffic management modernization programs.

Over the past 70 years, ICAO standards have led to dramatically improved safety rates, air traffic operations are becoming more and more efficient, system modernization is taking hold, aircraft are certified to incredibly safe levels, new entrants are integrated into the global airspace, and environmental concerns are being addressed such as environmental noise and emissions limits for civil aviation.

The United States continues to work with ICAO and its’ contracting States to ensure that aviation remains the safest form of transportation. The FAA provides ICAO with expertise and leadership to assist with the development of aviation regulations and standards. The FAA is working closely with ICAO and regional stakeholders in Europe, Asia and around the globe to harmonize the U.S. NextGen program into the global aviation system of the future. A focus of FAA Administrator Huerta’s Global Leadership initiative is the continued commitment to provide expertise, guidance and counsel to ICAO.

>Administrator Huerta's speech