The Modernizing Of Chicago Convention Essay


Discuss The Report for Modernizing of Chicago Convention.


The provisions of Chicago Convention indicate such foresightedness that it is truly commendable. For over sixty years there have not been any substantive amendments to it. However international instruments are but a representation of the time in which they had been drafted and a relation that existed and balance that was being achieved by such a draft (Havel & Sanchez, 2011).

In the last sixty years since the Chicago Convention came into being there has been a dramatic change in various fields – economic, technical, social and geopolitical. There are also various states that have emerged on the map which were not entities that were independent at the time when the convention was drafted. There has been a leap in technology of aviation, including technically feasible supersonic flight, aircrafts that are wide bodied and can each any destination on earth without the refueling requirement, aircrafts as economic means of transportation and various other such developments (Air Traffic Control, 2008). There are new problems which have arisen in the sixty years since the convention was drafted and could not have been foreseen reasonably at that time these include acts of crime against the civil aviation safety, the environmental protection growing as a concern, space technology application for management of air traffic, need for technical assistance or cooperation is increasing for assuring civil aviation’s global safety and also there being a drastic change in the methods of the Secretariat of ICAO, etc.

An argument maybe made that the Convention does not require any kind of general review since the ICAO has been served well by it since its incorporation and any new contingencies or developments by way of interpretation ("Convention on International Civil Aviation", 1944). It can however also be argued on the other hand any interpretation that is creative could lead to a meaning that is completely contrary to the Convention thus distorting the States consensus’ scope or lead to their being a lack in the legal certainty that all the contracting States are supporting. There would be an evident benefit to the ICAO constitutional framework from the modernization that would take place in practice as well as the Convention’s amended provisions (Aircraft Operations, 2006).

There should be restoration of the Assembly to the true position in the organization’s main body. A triennial cycle for assembly in the entire UN system is maintained only by the ICAO. The Assembly can be empowered by arraigning every two years the Assembly’s regularly for a three weeks period which would be in line with the other organizations in the United Nations system. This was a proposal which was also formulated by the United Nation’s Joint Inspection Unit after in 200, May it evaluated the ICAO for various reasons (i) there would be more charge in the hands of the Assembly with respect to the general governance and effective decision-making, controlling the council’s work and program supervising. It is necessary for the States to get together in greater frequency for formulation of the policy of the ICAO and discussing the problems mutually; it would be for a more reasonable period of two years the present budgeting in advance for three years could be a blind exercise often since the account of the fluctuating currency cannot be taken realistically or account of the exigencies that arise urgently during the Organization’s work ("Convention on International Civil Aviation", 1944). Rather than of the different “Conferences” which under the Convention do not have any constitutional status it is necessary to make more frequent use of the Assembly's extraordinary sessions. The sessions of the council which is within the system of the UN a rare permanent body and of the bodies subordinate need to be limited to maximum of two sessions in a year and there should not be any time that should be wasted by the council for consideration of matters that are in the executive management's purview traditionally. There are high-cost expenses and exorbitant expenses related to language that is caused due to the vast number of Council meeting and the meetings of the subordinate bodies and the high amount of documents which are required to be prepared for the same.

There are some evident lacunae that are required to filled by revision of the convention, issues that could not have been reasonably foreseen or were not foreseen during the time when the Convention was made in 1944 but which have in turn become an important part of the Organization’s working (Annex 2 Rules of the Air, 2005).

Other than the modernization mentioned some pertinent issues that are required to be addressed and revised in the convention are that of Environmental Protection, it is gradually that the concept of protection of the environment has become one of ICAO’s work programs top priorities. However, at the time when the Chicago Conference took place it was not foreseeable that this issue would gain so much prominence over time due to the fast evolving activities of the industries and output all across the work during the 20th century's second half, including in the countries that were at the time when the Conference took place colonies. There has been a growing political weight that is being given to the green initiatives in various countries, and there is active interest that is being taken by the various communities internationally for environmental conservation. It was on 30th July 1968 that the United Nations in ECOSOC's 45th session addressed for the first the various issues relating to the environment, and recommendations were made for convening a conference on the various issues that surround the human environment to the General Assembly. Environmental pollution's first issue with respect to aviation is that of noise, particularly in the airport's vicinity. ("ECOSEC Resolution 1346 (XLV)", 1968) An early initiative was taken by the ICAO in Buenos Aires in 1968, September in its 16th session where the subject of noise from aircraft was addressed in airport areas was discussed, and the Council was urged to organize a Conference and adopt guidance and specifications materials that are international relating to noise related to aircraft. The protection of the environment is a concern that is general and the Chicago Convention's revisions should be in a manner that should confirm that the States have a duty which is a legal commitment to the protection of the environment from the aircraft engine emissions and noise in a balanced and coordinated manner which the Organization shall determine and the State shall at the same time accept the obligation of not introducing any kind of measure that is unilateral which would lead to the jeopardizing of the aircraft that are foreign (Annexes 1-18, 1974).

Organization’s legal work, the Legal Committee of ICAO’s work and over the years under the ICAO’s auspices the Diplomatic Conferences that are convened has become a feature that his highly successful, important and visible feature of the programs of ICAO (Bartsch, 2012). The various instruments that the Legal Committee and the Sub-Committees of the Legal Committee have drafted are the few which are in the forefront decidedly of the international law's development which is progressive and the codification of the same. A particular place among such instruments is for the security conventions of the aviation industry that has been adopted with efficiency and speed that is unprecedented in response to the increase in challenges in the world with respect to terrorism in aviation ("Convention on International Civil Aviation", 1944). The different foras have closely followed, in their various instruments that they have adopted, approaches and legal principles that have been developed in ICAO. The Chicago Convention however for reasons that are historical did not have any reference to the Organization's legal work and the Constitution and the existence of the Legal Committee and the Draft Convention's Procedure for Approval are based on the Assembly's resolution only and do not represent as the international law's source (McBrien, 2015). Thus it is necessary that some kind of revision of the Convention should include and give suitable constitutional recognition and basis to the Organization’s legal work.

These according to me are the most important changes that need to be incorporated in the Chicago Convention, since though till time this convention has been serving the aviation industry well however with time there might be various situations that would lead to their being interpretations and usage of the convention which it was not meant for at the time of drafting.


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Annexes 1-18. (1974) (1st ed., pp. 1-25). Retrieved from

Bartsch, R. (2012). International Aviation Law. Farnham: Ashgate Pub.

Chicago Conventions. (1944) (1st ed., pp. 2-23). Chicago. Retrieved from

Convention on International Civil Aviation. (1944). ICAO.INT. Retrieved 10 July 2016, from

ECOSEC Resolution 1346 (XLV). (1968). In UN Convention on Human Environment. Stockholm.

Havel, B. & Sanchez, G. (2011). Do we need a New Chicago convention. Aviation Law And Policy, 11, 7.

McBrien, D. (2015). National Aviation Structure and the International Civil Aviation Organization. Lecture, Brisbane.

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