Legal and Regulatory Framework - ICAO

Legal and Regulatory Framework - ICAO

Information dated: 2017

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)

Tel: +1 (514) 954-8219,

Fax: +1 (514) 954-6077


Air Transport Policy and Regulation Programme

Under this programme, ICAO deals with significant matters relating to the economic policy and regulation of international air transport and its liberalization. The objectives of the air transport policy and regulation programme are to:

  • reduce State’s costs in performing its economic regulatory functions​​

  • increase consumer's benefits and choices;

  • improve air connectivity; and

  • create more competitive business opportunities in the marketplace; and

  • thereby contributing to the sustainable economic development and to the expansion of trade and tourism.

With the focus on liberalization of international air transport services, the major activities include:​

  • Harmonizing global regulatory framework by developing policies and guidance as those contained in the Policy Guidance on the Economic Regulation of International Air Transport (Doc 9587), Manual on the Regulation of International Air Transport (Doc 9626), and ICAO's Policies on Taxation in the Field of International Air Transport (Doc 8632);

  • Serving as a global forum for cooperation and concerted actions, such as the sixth Worldwide Air Transport Conference on the Sustainability of Air Transport (ATConf/6, March 2013);

  • Providing practical solutions to address challenges of emerging regulatory challenges of global importance, such as market access, air carrier ownership and control, consumer protection, competition, assurance of essential services, and trade in services;

  • Enhancing transparency of air transport through dissemination and exchange of information on States’ policies and practices, air service agreements, taxes, and industry trends and developments; and

  • Facilitating States' air services negotiations and business-to-business networking among States, international organizations, aviation industry, tourism and other stakeholders (see ICAO Air Services Negotiation (ICAN) event).

The present evolution of the international air transport regulatory framework and the globalization and transnationalization of markets and business operations may increase the need for ICAO to harmonize the global regulatory framework, assist states in further air transport liberalization, and to keep its guidance on economic regulation current and responsive to the changes. The service is provided to governments (ministry of transport, civil aviation authority), air transport service operators and providers and their trade associations, airlines, airports, civil aviation professionals, consultants, and the travelling public through the provision of technical support on a required basis, and the dissemination of information through publications (documents, manuals and circulars) and meetings (workshops, seminars, symposia, and conferences). ICAO has produced template air services agreements (TASAs) for the guidance of, and optional use by, states in their air transport relationships.