France and ICAO


France at the International Civil Aviation Organisation

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) was founded in 1944. France is a founding member and the sixth-largest contributor. Since the creation of the ICAO, France has been on the organization’s Council in the category of States of chief importance in air transport.

France, a recognised player in civil aviation

Since 1947, France has demonstrated its status as a recognized player in civil aviation with the election of Albert Roper as the Organization’s first Secretary-General for two terms (1944-1951). He was also the first and only Secretary General of the International Commission for Air Navigation (ICAN), which was established in 1922 and the forerunner to the ICAO. Yves Lambert and, more recently Raymond Benjamin also held the same position (from 1976 to 1988 and from 2009 to 2015, respectively). Three French nationals have therefore carried out the role of ICAO Secretary-General over a 25-year period.

Similarly, French experts have been elected from the outset to the Air Navigation Commission which represents the interests not of States but of independent technical experts. Several French commissioners have chaired the Commission: Daniel Galibert, in 2003 and 2004 and Farid Zizi between 2014 and 2016.

French experts help to develop the ICAO

Due to their national experience and expertise, French technical experts are present in all ICAO Technical Panels and many of its Working Groups, thus contributing to the Organization’s five Strategic Objectives.

France also supports the No Country Left Behind initiative and leads numerous bilateral assistance programmes with other ICAO Member States mainly through its 50 bilateral cooperation agreements. For this, it can draw on the experience of the French Civil Aviation School ENAC, a regional centre of excellence under the ICAO TRAINAIR +programme, which has almost 3000 students, every year, 45% of whom are foreign nationals.

France also contributes to the ICAO’s work by freely providing national technical experts, which is the third-biggest staff contribution from States to the organization. In 2018, this assistance in kind was valued at CAN$ 1.3 million.

Programmes in which France participates

France contributes on a voluntary basis to several programmes which assist the ICAO or support its strategic objectives:

  • France has long-standing cooperation with the Agency for Air Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA). Created in 1959, this agency is responsible for managing Member States’ airspaces. Our partnership aims to support the policy of the ASECNA, whose role is to improve the quality of the services rendered to aviation users, particularly as regards aviation safety. It also aims to help ASECNA to promote the creation of a “single African sky” by carrying out studies, training activities and exchanges of experts. France and ASECNA have been partners in this context since 2012 within the framework of the African Flight Procedure Programme (AFPP) implemented by the ICAO in order to sustainably achieve the objectives of ICAO Assembly Resolution 37-11 which sets precise goals for performance-based navigation.
  • On 26 May 2016, the French Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC) signed a training cooperation agreement with the ICAO as part of the No Country Left Behind programme. The DGAC has decided to initiate a plurennial approach to offer a training programme for civil aviation operators who wish to benefit.
  • In order to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from air transport, the ICAO adopted the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation or CORSIA in 2016. France is taking action alongside States who wish to use its expertise in this field (24 Sub-Saharan African and Arab World States, to date), through training and technical assistance activities.
About the ICAO

The International Civil Aviation Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for establishing the global civil aviation regulatory framework. The ICAO is headquartered in Montreal (Canada) and has 193 Member States.

Created in 1944 by the Chicago Convention, the ICAO is responsible for establishing the global regulatory framework for international civil aviation safety. This ensures that the 100,000 daily flights operate safely and reliably. The ICAO is also responsible for:
• Ensuring air traffic control works correctly to enable traffic to grow
• Fighting the terrorist risk and malicious acts while implementing measures to facilitate air travel
• Establishing economic rules which give equal access to the world’s skies for all
• Limiting the environmental footprint of air travel

For more information see the ICAO website

(updated Aug. 2019)