Aviation, which developed with an upward trajectory especially after the Second World War, also created its own institutions in the process. Institutions, which carry out important work to sustain the development of aviation and to make air transportation safer, carry out intensive activities both nationally and internationally. In this article, we have compiled the most important institutions and authorities operating in the field of aviation worldwide.
International Civil Aviation Organization – ICAO
The International Civil Aviation Organization, or ICAO as it is known worldwide, was officially established on 4 April 1947 following the Chicago Convention signed in 1944 to promote international cooperation in air transport. Today, ICAO has become a giant institution operating within the United Nations, supported by 193 states, and consists of a large staff of expert bureaucrats and managers and numerous sub-organizations. Although ICAO’s administrative center is in Quebec, Canada, it has many offices in different continents and countries.
ICAO’s Objectives and Tasks
ICAO, whose main objective is to ensure the development of civil aviation in a sustainable manner and to spread it around the world, also performs many tasks such as serving as a global forum for countries in international civil air transportation, developing new policies and standards in the field of aviation, conducting inspections, conducting research and analysis, and providing support for the expansion of aviation infrastructure.
ICAO, which works to support diplomatic work, develop new air transportation policies and set current aviation standards in line with new technological developments, involves a wide range of international and national institutions in the decision-making processes in the process of setting new standards for air transportation. ICAO, which undertakes quite extensive tasks in the field of aviation at the global level, does not interfere with the regulations made by countries on a national scale. Nor does it impose criminal sanctions.
ICAO’s Organizational Structure:
ICAO has an assembly in which all member countries participate. This Assembly meets at least once every three years. The Assembly can also hold extraordinary meetings if more than one-fifth of the member states so request. The main tasks of the Assembly members are to elect the members of the council, which holds the executive power, to examine the reports issued by the council and implement the necessary actions, to decide on matters referred by the council, and to approve the council’s budgets. The Assembly, which is the authority that grants powers and duties to the Council, can also withdraw them from the Council.
The council, which can be defined as the executive authority of the organization, is elected every 3 years and consists of 36 members. The current president of the Council is Salvatore Sciacchitano, who will serve for 3 years from January 1, 2020. The main tasks of the Council: To submit annual reports to the Assembly, to carry out the instructions of the Assembly, to fulfill the duties and obligations assumed under the Convention on International Civil Aviation, to ensure the financial management of ICAO, to determine and appoint the tasks of the Committees on Air Transport, Finance, Interdiction, Technical Cooperation, Human Resources.
Council Member Countries (Countries are divided into groups according to their share of participation)
|Group 1 (Most important countries)
|Group 2 (Countries with significant participation)
|Group 3 (Countries of importance according to their geographical location)
|United States of America
|United Arab Emirates
ICAO’s organizational structure includes a secretariat headed by a secretary-general. The ICAO secretariat consists of 5 bureaus: Air Navigation Bureau, Air Transport Bureau, Technical Cooperation Bureau, Legal Bureau and External Relations Bureau. In addition to these five offices, the directors responsible for finance, internal audit, communications, development and ICAO’s seven regional offices also report directly to the Secretary General.
|Offices under the ICAO Secretariat
|East and Southern Africa Office
|West and Central Africa Office
|Middle East Office
|Europe and North Atlantic Office
|South America Office
|North-Central America and Caribbean Office
European Aviation Safety Agency – EASA
The European Union’s (EU) civil aviation safety policy-making and implementation body European Aviation Safety Agency (ing. European Union Aviation Safety Agency / EASA), Founded in 2008, based in Cologne – Germany. As of 2021, EASA has 31 permanent member states, 27 of which are EU members, and more than 800 experts and managers.
EASA’s core mission: Set the highest standards of safety and environmental protection for civil aviation in the EU and define new rules and relevant legislation. The organization, which also audits the standards and rules it sets in the field of aviation, provides the technical expertise, training and research support needed in this context. EASA works with national agencies to certify aircraft as well as engines and engine parts and to issue pilot licenses. EASA also approves aircraft design companies around the world, as well as production and maintenance organizations operating in the field of aviation in countries outside the EU.
Directorate General of Civil Aviation – DGCA
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the institution that regulates and supervises civil aviation in Turkey, dates back to 1954. As a founding member of ICAO, DGCA is also a member of the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) and EUROCONTROL, the European Organization for the Safety of European Navigation. In addition to its main duties of regulation and supervision, the Agency also contributes directly to the growth of the aviation industry through the projects it develops.
Establishment and History of DGCA
The Department of Civil Aviation was established in 1954 within the Ministry of Transportation in order to protect national interests and to ensure the orderly conduct and supervision of international relations in parallel with the development of civil aviation in the world and developments in aviation technology. In 1987, the institution, which was renamed as the “Directorate General of Civil Aviation” as it is used today, was reorganized in accordance with modern conditions. With the Law No. 5431 on the Organization and Duties of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, which entered into force on November 18, 2005, the institution gained a financially autonomous structure and reached its current management structure.
Joint Aviation Authorities Training Organization – JAA TO
Headquartered in the Netherlands, JAA TO (ing.: Joint Aviation Authorities Training Organization) operates within the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC). With a 50-year history, the organization provides training to the aviation industry and government officials on regulations covering the air transport sector. At the same time, JAA TO is the only European Training Center of Excellence (TCE) in the EU officially recognized by ICAO and a leading member of the EASA Virtual Academy. The organization, which also provides consultancy services in the field of aviation, organizes more than 300 trainings every year on safety, security, unmanned aerial vehicles and management issues.
Federal Aviation Administration – FAA
The FAA (ing.: Federal Aviation Administration), the official civil air transport organization of the United States, is one of the oldest and most important institutions in the world in the field of aviation safety. Although officially founded in 1958, the FAA is a well-established organization that dates back to the second half of the twenties and defines its main mission as providing the most efficient and safe aviation system worldwide. In this context, the FAA, which also has sanctioning authority, is armed with legal powers, especially fines and sanctions for certification.
Responsibilities assumed by the FAA:
●Making necessary arrangements to increase the safety of civil aviation. In this context, FAA sets regulations and standards/criteria for the manufacture, operation and maintenance of aircraft, as well as certification of airports and flight personnel.
● Supporting new aviation technologies and civil innovations. The production of electronic support devices used for navigation and the installation of these systems on aircraft are also among the important tasks of the FAA. In addition to the maintenance, operation and quality control of electronic flight systems, the FAA also maintains all navigation, air traffic control, voice and data transmission/transmission (communication) systems used in aviation, as well as important components such as radars, computers, multifunction displays/displays.
● Development and operation of air traffic control and navigation systems for both military and civil aircraft. The FAA, which develops and sets air traffic rules, also de facto controls air traffic. To this end, the organization operates a comprehensive network of control towers, air traffic control centers and flight service stations at airports.
● Conducting R&D activities within the scope of the US National Airspace System (NAS) and civil aviation.
● Preparation and implementation of projects to reduce environmental and noise pollution caused by civil aviation.
● Regulation of commercial space transportation within the borders of the United States. The FAA issues the licenses for the launch facilities of private space transportation companies such as Space-X and Blue Origin, which we have heard a lot about in the US recently, and for sending all kinds of cargo into space.