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from the Chronology

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1910. 18 - 29 May The Paris International Air Navigation Conference of 1910, also known as the Conférence internationale de navigation aérienne, was the first diplomatic conference to consider formulating international aviation law. It was proposed by the French government who were concerned about aircraft from foreign nations flying over their territory and was attended by representatives from 19 European nations. The conference went into recess in June 1910 but did not reconvene due to differences of opinion and then later the outbreak of the First World War. Hence, no agreement was signed. Its deliberations, however, influenced the development of international aviation law.

For obvious reasons, the treatment of aviation matters was a subject at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. The conference was the first political effort to develop the doctrines of international law relating to aerial navigation. Delegates disagreed about the right of foreign aircraft to fly over national territory. It was resolved to create an Aeronautical Commission charged to prepare a convention on international aerial navigation. The result was the creation of the International Commission for Air Navigation under the authority of the League of Nations. This Paris Convention was the first successful attempt at common regulation of international air navigation and laid the foundations of air law.

A proposal was formally taken up by France and submitted to the other principal Allied powers who received it favourably. This action then resulted in the drawing up of the International Air Convention, which was signed by 26 of the 32 Allied and Associated powers represented at the Paris Peace Conference and was ultimately ratified by 38 States. It should be noted that this Convention took over all the principles that had already been formulated by the Conference that had been held in 1910 in Paris. The Convention was ultimately in force for thirty-three States by 1940.

The U.S. government extended an invitation to 55 States to attend an International Civil Aviation Conference in Chicago in 1944. Known then and today more commonly as the ‘Chicago Convention', this landmark agreement laid the foundation for the standards and procedures for peaceful global air navigation. It set out as its prime objective the development of international civil aviation "…in a safe and orderly manner", and such that air transport services would be established "on the basis of equality of opportunity and operated soundly and economically." On 4 April 1947, upon sufficient ratifications to the Chicago Convention, the International Civil Aviation Authority came into being. The first official ICAO Assembly was held in Montreal in May of that year. On 3 October 1947 the ICAO became a UN specialized agency.

Today the ICAO has 193 Members States with headquarters located in the Quartier international de Montréal of Montreal, Quebec, Canada with seven Regional Offices throughout the world. [Chicago Convention; 1919 Paris Convention; ICAO website]

Paris, France; Chicago, USA; Montreal, Canada United Nations; International relations; International Standards

from the Chronology Canada

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