ICAO was created in 1944 by the Chicago Convention to promote the safe and orderly development of civil aviation around the world. The organization sets standards and regulations necessary for aviation safety, security, efficiency, and regularity, as well as for aviation environmental protection. ICAO also serves as a clearinghouse for cooperation and discussion on civil aviation issues among its 193 member-states. It is managed by a Secretariat, which is governed by a Council made up of 36 member-states, including the United States and other major actors in civil aviation. The organization’s headquarters is located in Montreal, Canada. It has regional and sub-regional offices spread around the world, including in Bangkok, Cairo, Dakar, Lima, Mexico City, Nairobi, and Paris as well as a regional sub-office in Beijing.
The U.S. Mission to ICAO (USICAO) is focused on improving the safety, security, and sustainability of civil aviation. To help do this, U.S. government agencies work with ICAO, its member states, and aviation sector stakeholders to set internationally applicable standards in key civil aviation sectors and promote their implementation. ICAO and concerned member-states support efforts to assist developing countries in improving their national civil aviation systems and compliance with international standards.
USICAO is headed by an Ambassador who is supported by a Deputy Chief of Mission and Air Navigation Commissioner plus expert and support staff. Working closely with the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Organization Affairs, USICAO coordinates U.S. government efforts at ICAO. USICAO works closely with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Department of Transportation (DOT), the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). U.S. influence at ICAO is comparable to American influence within the international civil aviation arena at large. The U.S. government provides about 20% of ICAO’s budget, seconds U.S. government experts to work for ICAO, and voluntarily contributes additional funding in various areas, including international civil aviation security.