International Civil Aviation Day
annually on December 7th (since 1994)
Civil aviation is any non-military aviation, both private and commercial. International Civil Aviation Day is a day that recognizes the importance of air travel to the social and economic development of the world. The day exists to raise and reinforce awareness about this importance, and about the role the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has in facilitating a global aviation network to benefit everyone. The ICAO, which is a specialized agency of the United Nations, is made up of about 190 countries that work together to come up with standards for air travel around the world. Each country has a civil aviation authority that oversees areas of civil aviation. For example, in the United States there is the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The civil aviation authority in each country regulates aviation licensing, oversees flight operations, issues certificates of airworthiness for aircraft, oversees aircraft maintenance organizations, designs and constructs aerodromes, and manages air traffic services. The ICAO was established by the Convention on International Civil Aviation, also known as the Chicago Convention, a document signed on December 7, 1944. International Civil Aviation Day began being celebrated by the ICAO in 1994, on the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Chicago Convention. In 1996 the United Nations adopted a resolution that proclaimed the day as International Civil Aviation Day, and urged government and government organizations to take steps to observe the day.
How to Observe
The best way to celebrate the day is to take or plan an airplane trip, as the standards that are followed when you are flying are organized by the International Civil Aviation Organization. These standards not only apply to individual countries, but ensure international travel operates smoothly, so it would be even better if you had the opportunity to travel internationally. Obviously taking a flight today is not something most people will be able to do, so the day could also be spent learning more about the ICAO, or about aviation in general.