IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


23rd February, 2023 International Relations

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Context:  Cabinet approves the ratification of three Protocols on Article 3 bis and Article 50 (a) & Article 56 relating to amendments in the convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention), 1944.


  • The articles of the Chicago Convention establish the privileges and obligations of all contracting States and promote international ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) adoption that regulate international air transport.
  • The ratification has been approved in the following three protocols relating to amendments in the Convention on International Civil Aviation “Chicago Convention”, 1944:
    • Protocol to insert Article 3 bis in the Chicago Convention, 1944 to refrain member States from resorting to the use of weapons against civil aircraft in flight (Protocol signed in May, 1984);
    • Protocol to amend Article 50 (a) of the Chicago Convention, 1944 for raising the strength of the ICAO Council from 36 to 40 (Protocol signed in October, 2016); and
    • Protocol to amend Article 56 of the Chicago Convention, 1944 for raising the strength of the Air Navigation Commission from 18 to 21 (Protocol signed in October, 2016).
  • The ratification would affirm India’s commitment to the principles enshrined in the Convention on International Civil Aviation.
  • The ratification would provide better chances and opportunity for India to become more instrumental in matters pertaining to international civil aviation.

About the convention:

  • The Convention on International Civil Aviation, also known as the Chicago Convention, established the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a specialized agency of the United Nations charged with coordinating international air travel.
  • The Convention establishes rules of airspace, aircraft registration and safety, security, and sustainability, and details the rights of the signatories in relation to air travel. The Convention also contains provisions pertaining to taxation.
  • The document was signed on December 7, 1944, in Chicago by 52 signatory states.
  • It went into effect on April 4, 1947, the same date that ICAO came into being.
  • As of March 2019, the Chicago Convention had 193 state parties, which includes all member states of the United Nations except Liechtenstein.
  • The Cook Islands is a party to the Convention although it is not a member of the UN. The convention has been extended to cover Liechtenstein by the ratification of Switzerland.

About the ICAO:

  • In October of the same year, ICAO became a specialized agency of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
  • It changes the principles and techniques of international air navigation and fosters the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safe and orderly growth.
  • Its headquarters is located in the Canada.
  • It adopts standards and recommended practices concerning air navigation, its infrastructure, flight inspection, prevention of unlawful interference, and facilitation of border-crossing procedures for international civil aviation.
  • ICAO defines the protocols for air accident investigation that are followed by transport safety authorities in countries signatory to the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation.
  • The Air Navigation Commission (ANC) is the technical body within ICAO.
  • India is a founding member of ICAO.

Some important articles are:

  • Article 1: Every state has complete and exclusive sovereignty over airspace above its territory.
  • Article 3 bis: Every other state must refrain from resorting to the use of weapons against civil aircraft in flight.
  • Article 5: The aircraft of states, other than scheduled international air services, have the right to make flights across state's territories and to make stops without obtaining prior permission. However, the state may require the aircraft to make a landing.
  • Article 6: (Scheduled air services) No scheduled international air service may be operated over or into the territory of a contracting State, except with the special permission or other authorization of that State.
  • Article 10: (Landing at customs airports): The state can require that landing to be at a designated customs airport and similarly departure from the territory can be required to be from a designated customs airport.
  • Article 12: Each state shall keep its own rules of the air as uniform as possible with those established under the convention, the duty to ensure compliance with these rules rests with the contracting state.
  • Article 13: (Entry and Clearance Regulations) A state's laws and regulations regarding the admission and departure of passengers, crew or cargo from aircraft shall be complied with on arrival, upon departure and whilst within the territory of that state.
  • Article 16: The authorities of each state shall have the right to search the aircraft of other states on landing or departure, without unreasonable delay.
  • Article 24: Aircraft on a flight to, from, or across the territory of another contracting State shall be admitted temporarily free of duty, subject to the customs regulations of the State.
  • Article 29: Before an international flight, the pilot in command must ensure that the aircraft is airworthy, duly registered and that the relevant certificates are on board the aircraft.
  • Article 30: The aircraft of a state flying in or over the territory of another state shall only carry radios licensed and used in accordance with the regulations of the state in which the aircraft is registered. The radios may only be used by members of the flight crew suitably licensed by the state in which the aircraft is registered.
  • Article 32: The pilot and crew of every aircraft engaged in international aviation must have certificates of competency and licensees issued or validated by the state in which the aircraft is registered.
  • Article 33: Recognition of Certificates and Licences
  • Article 40: No aircraft or personnel with endorsed licenses or certificate will engage in international navigation except with the permission of the state or states whose territory is entered.