International Civil Aviation Day

Guides · 4 min read · Jul 08, 2022

For the first time in the world, two innovative men took their efforts to the sky in Kitty Hawk on December 17th, 1903. Since then, a lot has happened with the flying machines giving rise to a whole new means of transportation. At the moment of speaking – 12 decades after the first flight – the civil aviation industry has come a long way to become the safest mode of transportation on the entire globe.

In 2020, 4.56 billion people have taken their flights and the industry is expected to carry 8.2 billion people by the year 2037. With the pandemic, the demand came to a screeching halt and the passenger traffic dropped off a cliff to 50% of pre-pandemic figures. With the countries lifting travel restrictions, passenger demand started to reinstate creating a blossoming trend within the industry. With all the aforementioned facts, aviation will be the most prominent mode of transportation for decades to come. Hence, civil aviation can heavily impact a country’s social and economic development.

Building the awareness

As per the United Nations (UN), there are 65.5 million jobs related to the air travel sector and it holds a share of 3.6% of the global economic activities equal to $2.7 trillion. The contribution makes by the air travel industry is immense and cannot be left behind for any reason. Any state not utilizing civil aviation for its betterment is missing a crucial piece in its economic prospectus.

Here comes the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for the rescue. ICAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations with the goal of regulating international civil aviation all over the globe. As a part of the primary mission, International Civil Aviation Organization shoulders the responsibility of building awareness of the importance of international civil aviation within its member states. In order to achieve this goal, the ICAO proclaimed a specific day.

Apart from building awareness, ICAO is helping states to cooperate and realize the importance of a truly global rapid transit network at the service of all mankind.

A private civil airplane parked on tarmac in sunset.

When is the international civil aviation day?

December 7th is international civil aviation day and is celebrated each year by helping states to cooperate and build awareness within the communities. The importance of this day and how ICAO is plans it will be discussed later in this article.

A glimpse into the history

The first international civil aviation day was held on December 7th, 1994 along with the 50th-anniversary celebration of the signing of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (or Chicago Convention). Two years later, the United Nations general assembly announced this day officially.

Even though the ICAO came into life on April 04th, 1947, the Convention on International Civil Aviation was signed on December 7th, 1944. This makes December 7th more important and considered by the ICAO as the official date.

Why do we need a specific day?

As stated by the UN, proclaimed international days are like powerful advocacy tools. They can be used to address specific groups of communities and pass a message to them in style. During any international day, there are observances planned based on a specific topic or a theme.

The UN has presented its intention of observing an international civil aviation day as follows,

International Civil Aviation Day is to help generate and reinforce worldwide awareness of the importance of international civil aviation to the social and economic development of States.

Observances during the international civil aviation day

During this specific day, individuals, organizations, civil societies, schools, and universities come together to follow the observances specially designed according to a theme. Many participants find aviation day a fountain of knowledge.

Here is a list of observances anyone can try during international civil aviation day:

Thanking aviation workers

Celebrating civil aviation day is a great opportunity to thank aviation employees. Regardless of rank, all aviation workers contribute to connecting the world for all of us. Simple gratitude will make their day feel more special.

Career guidance programs

Aviation professionals can contribute by giving their knowledge and experience to the young generations. This guidance can be considered a remarkable contribution of aviation to the social and economic development of states. This opens a whole new world of opportunities for the youngsters to set up their dreams and goals. They break their glass ceilings and achieve greater heights boosting the social and economic development of their countries.


Conducting workshops related to civil aviation will share knowledge and helps to identify people with extra colors. Inviting a guest speaker who is well-known in the world of international civil aviation will incentivize participants.

At the end of the day, it should be all about awareness of the importance of aviation and how the targeted group should interact with the international civil aviation framework for the social and economic development of their own states. This development of individual states would cater to the global aviation development of the civil aviation industry.

A private civil jet taxiing to the runway at an airport in the evening.

Anniversary theme for international civil aviation day

As a norm, the International Civil Aviation Organization – ICAO council came up with a specific theme for a period of five years. The purpose of the theme is to address pertaining issues affecting the civil aviation industry from time to time. Specifically, this day is used to conduct awareness programs covering the theme. The theme for the period of 2019 to 2023 is:

“Advancing Innovation for Global Aviation Development”

Civil aviation is an industry that subjects to many challenges; new challenges emerge each year stressing the industry. Environmental concerns such as green house gas (GHG) emissions or predicted fossil fuel shortages will affect the sustainability of aviation to a greater extent. Innovations such as solar aviation fuels, implementation of blockchain technology, and augmented reality are going to keep the industry afloat. Hence, the theme selected by the ICAO – advancing innovation for global aviation development has never been more relevant to this new era in global aviation. Additionally, more exposure should be granted to innovations and related facts via events like international civil aviation day.

Agenda 2030

The agenda is designed for a new era in global sustainable development and stipulated with the consent of the UN and world nations. Out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the UN, 15 goals are linked with the ICAO’s objectives. Hence, the cooperation of the ICAO is crucial for the United Nations in achieving its goals.

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Eglė Bartaševičiūtė
A passionate traveler and an avid aviation enthusiast bringing you the most well-founded, accurate and up-to-date industry content.

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