The 50th anniversary



Sticker distributed by ICAO for the 50th anniversary

In a correspondence sent to all Contracting States, the ICAO Secretary General, Philippe Rochat, had invited the various Civil Aviation Authorities to organize programmes of activities to mark the 50th anniversary of the signing in Chicago of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (i.e. 7 December 1994). Among the suggested activities in the attachment to this letter, it was proposed to issue postage stamps.


Original design submitted by B. Darling

At the inv­ita­tion of the IC­AO's Secre­tary Gen­eral, staff mem­bers were invited in Feb­ru­ary 1993 to sub­mit designs for a logo to mark the 50th anniver­sary of ICAO, com­memor­ated in 1994. Seventy sub­missions were received from 28 staff members and the selected offi­cial versions for use by ICAO and Con­tract­ing States, are repro­duced opposite on the left (gold and blue). The original design was submitted by Mr. Brian Darling, Canadian, Sys­tems Procedure Writer in the Office Automa­tion Section of the Secre­tariat, and is shown opposite on the right.


Further to that, forty-two countries issued stamps and first day covers to commemorate the 50th anniversary, with dates ranging from 1994 to 1995. In addition to that, some countries prepared date cancels, commemorative covers, postal stationery, etc. The following pictures show the commemorative covers and date cancellations issued for the 50th anniversary and a limited portion of the philatelic items (stamps and first day covers) released by the Post Offices for this anniversary; the complete list of these can be obtained by clicking on the following link: Stamp Issues from 1994 to 1995 - 50th Anniversary of ICAO.


50th Anniversary poster prepared by ICAO.


ICAO Special Letterhead used for the 50th anniversary.



Canada - 7 December 1993.

Beginning of the 50th Anniversary Celebrations.

Meter stamp with slogan.


Various presentations of the 50th anniversary logo proposed by ICAO to the Members States for the preparation of their stamp issues and material commemorating this anniversary.



Other stickers related to the 50th anniversary.


Switzerland - Aero-philatelic Exhibition, Lodrino.

30 April to 1 May 1994.



On 30 April 1919, airmail was carried for the first time in Switzerland on the newly created line Zurich-Berne-Lausanne, also establishing the Aéropostale. Six years later, on 8 May 1925, the Société aérophilatélique suisse was created on the initiative of two pioneers: Adolf von Arx and Louis Rochat. The latter society organized for the first time in 1967 a Day of Aerophilately. The above cover commemorated the 75th anniversary of the creation of the Aéropostale.

The cover shows the Swiss stamp issued on 15 March 1994 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of ICAO (Design: a picture of the earth, a radar image and an airliner - Boeing 747‑400D - to symbolize worldwide cooperation of ICAO members for the benefit of international civil aviation).


Mail sent by Dr. Philippe Rochat, ICAO Secretary general, related to the above covers.




Commemorative cover issued on the occasion of the American Postage Stamp Show, held in New York from 11 to 13 March 1994: “Honoring Civil Aviation”. Probably linked to ICAO’s 50th anniversary. In the cachet: McDonnell Douglas DC-10 tri-jet aircraft taking-off.

When McDonnell Douglas merged with Boeing in August 1997, this aircraft was renamed as MD-10. 



Canada, Montréal,

50th Anniversary of ICAO.

1994 Round the World Air Race.

On the picture: Cessna Model 411 Conquest II (C441, Tiger) from India flown by Captain Vijaypat Singhania, 1st Officer Daniel Brown and 1st Officer
Peter Troy-Davies.

Registration: N1210U in USA.


The Gazette – 25 May 1994


Canada, Montréal,

50th Anniversary of ICAO.

1994 Round the World Air Race.

On the picture: Stoddard-Hamilton Glasair III (SH3R, Zephirus) flown by Captain Kenneth P. Johnson and 1st Officer Larry Cioppi of the USA.

Registration: N640KJ in USA.


On the occasion of ICAO’s 50th anniversary, the 1994 Around the World Air Race departed from Montreal (Saint-Hubert Airfield) on 1 May 1994 and returned to the same airport on 25 May (Estimated miles: 19.000). The route was as follows: St. John’s, Santa Maria, Marrakech, Istanbul, Dubai, Agra, U'Taphao, Ho Chi Min City, Naha Okinawa, Sendai, Petropavlosk, Anchorage, Calgary, and Montreal. So after 24 days, they landed in Montreal via Newfoundland, Morocco, Turkey, Dubai, India, Vietnam, Japan, Russia and the United States. The Around de World Race was a leading event set out in the 1994 sports activities of the Fédération aéronautique internationale (FAI). The organization of the race was entrusted to Arc-en-ciel which had already organized other races over long distances.

T-FAL Corporation was among the major corporate sponsors of the Air Race; the name of this company can be seen on the key fob. Mr. Bernard Lamy, Director of the Race, used to work for many years as Director Export, at Tefal S.A. in Paris. Financial support was also provided by the Commissariat général des célébrations du 50e anniveraire de l’Organisation de l’aviation civile internationale (la fête de l'aviation). Media coverage of the race was run by the International Herald Tribune.

Fourteen light aircraft (with a total of thirty participants) from Canada, France, India, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and USA participated. Bernard Lamy, Arc-en-Ciel, France, organized the race. From the Ninety-Nines, Adele Fogle, Daphne Schiff and Margaret Ringenberg piloted a Cessna 340 (Spirit of 76).

Arc-en-Ciel is an association of volunteers whose goal is to promote aviation through the organization of aeronautic events and races; it was founded in the early eighties by Bernard and Maryse Lamy, from France. Arc- en-Ciel (rainbow in English) is named after the Couzinet trimotor model 70 aircraft, which, with famous French pioneer Mermoz at the controls, opened the South-Atlantic airmail service in 1933.

The Ninety-Nines share a common interest and accomplishment: FLIGHT! Rich with achievements, the history of the Ninety-Nines is an integral part of the history of aviation and intertwines with the history of many nations. Such names as Amelia Earhart, Jacqueline Cochrane, Sheila Scott and Hanna Reitsch dot their past, while new heroines such as Roberta Bondar and Julie Payette in the space program and Janice Brown in the solar flight program help to shape the future. The Ninety-Nines, Inc. was founded on 2 November 1929 by 99 women pilots. Amelia Earhart was the first president.  It is a non-profit worldwide organization, with members in the United States, Canada, and over 30 other countries. The Ninety-Nines is the world's oldest and largest organization of women pilots.



Commercial cover sent

from Cotonou, Bénin

to the Secretary of the ICAO Group for the Preparation of the 50th Anniversary Celebrations.

Postmarked on 24 May 1994.



Hungary - 5 September 1994.

50th Anniversary of ICAO.

Private miniature sheet overprinted in silver.

The text in the overprint reads as follows: AZ ÖTVEN ÉVES POLGÁRY REPÜLÉS / 1944-1994, i.e.  50 Years of the Civil Aviation / 1944-1994.

This overprint was prepared by MABÉOSZ, i.e.  Magyar Bélyeggyűjtők Országos Szövetsége or the National Association of Hungarian Philatelists. The printed quantity was 10500.


The original private sheet was issued by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) for its 34th Congress held in Budapest, Hungary, from 10 to 15 October 1983. With a sequential number. IAF Emblem.

This sheet is not listed in the regular catalogues. The printed quantity was 180,000 on normal paper. This sheet was printed on plain gummed paper (i.e. postage stamp paper) and was officially issued by the National Association of Hungarian Philatelists MABÉOSZ; it is not valid for postage (no value printed). 4,000 copies were printed on cardstock.

The above miniature sheet reproduces three stamps from Hungary:

a.    On the left-side: Hungary 16 June 1924, Ikarus over Budapest, 10000 Korana, red and purple, air post.

b.    In the middle: Hungary 20 June 1933, Roman deity Mercury (or Ikarus) holding a crossed propeller, i.e. symbolic representation of flying, dark gray, 5 Pengo, air post.

c.    On the right-side: Hungary 27 May 1980, Intercosmos Cooperative Space Program, issued on the occasion of the joint space flight of a Soviet cosmonaut and a Hungarian cosmonaut, multicolor, 5 Forint, air post.

Hungary issued one stamp on 10 October 1983 to commemorate the 34th Congress of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) held in Budapest from 10 to 15 October 1983. See related FDC here-above. The cancel below shows the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station (ISS); the second cancel on this cover depicts a post horn, with texts in French, English and Cyrillic. The printed text reads: “34. NEMZETKÖZI ASZTRONAUTIKAI KONGRESSZUS” (NAP), which means “34th International Astronautical Congress”.



Mauritius - United Nations Economic Commission for Africa – Conference of Ministers of Civil Aviation – Coordination Meeting of the African Civil Aviation Commission at Grand Bay.

5 to 10 September 1994.

The cover shows the stamp issued by Mauritius on 16 June 1994 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of ICAO (Design: Control tower at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Airport, Port Louis, Mauritius).



Canada, Montréal – 50th Anniversary of ICAO.

The Canadian Authorities had set up a special committee for the organization of this anniversary, called Commissariat général des célébrations de l’Aviation civile internationale.

Commercial cover sent by this committee.



Peru prepared a special cancel to commemorate ICAO’s 50th anniversary in Lima, available from 2 November to 2 December 1994.




Uganda – 14 November 1994.

Hand-drawn first day cover with an unusual design of ICAO emblem.

Stamps designs are related to the Entebe International Airport.


Cyprus – 21 November 1994.

Maximum card with the chart of the Nicosia Flight Information Region (FIR).




Argentina - 50th Anniversary of ICAO – Aero-philatelic Exhibition – Buenos Aires.

5 to 9 December 1994.


Canada, Montréal – 50th Anniversary of the signing of the Convention on International Civil Aviation - 7 December 1994.

The cancellation shows a Douglas DC-3 (left), and (on the right) a McDonnell Douglas DC-10 or a Lockheed L-1011 Tristar.


To commemorate the 50th anniversary of ICAO, this philatelic cover paid tribute to the founders of ICAO and specially to the Honourable Adolf A. Berle, Jr., U.S. Assistant Secretary of State, Chairman of the American Delegation and President of the International Civil Aviation Conference, by quoting a sentence of his closing address on 7 December 1944 at the Final Plenary Session in the Grand Ballroom of the Stevens Hotel, Chicago, Illinois. The quotation reads as follows: “As a result of the work of these and many other men, when we leave this Conference we can say to our airmen throughout the world that they can go out and fly their craft in peaceful service”.

The cancellation refers to the co-ordinated celebration, for the first time, of the International Civil Aviation Day on 7 December 1994.



Canada, Montréal – 50th Anniversary of the signing of the Convention on International Civil Aviation - 7 December 1994.

Metered stamp.



China -

50th Anniversary of ICAO

Postal Stationery.

7 December 1994.

Cachet shows a Boeing B-737, probably -600 series.

Prepared by the China National Philatelic Corporation.

Designer: Zhang Shiqi.

The China National Philatelic Corporation (CNPC) is the primary agency authorized by the State Post Bureau of China to sell national stamps, other philatelic items, and provide other philatelic services to the public.




Qatar – 7 December 1994

The word organization should have been spelled with “z” instead of “s”.


South Africa – 50th Anniversary of ICAO - 7 December 1994.

Date-Stamp Card – Hand cancelled.




Romania - Postal Stationery (Aerogramme; colours: black and red).

50th Anniversary of ICAO.

7 December 1994.

Edited by the Aerophilatelic Club “Aurel Vlaicu”. The text reads as follows: “50th anniversary of the establishment of the International Civil Aviation Organization”.

Error: the wreath of branches of olive-tree is shown over the wings. In fact, the ICAO official logo depicts the wings over the branches of olive-tree. Moreover, the olive wreath appears flattened in its lower part. Finally, the eight diagonals should not reach the center of the circle.


Slovenia - 50th Anniversary of ICAO.

Postcard produced by the Philatelic Association of Slovenia to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the ICAO for the philatelic exhibition held in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Possibly flown between Secovlje / Sicciole (site of small airport) and Brnik aerodrome (near Kranj, Slovenia's main international airport).

Franked with 55-tolar stamp cancelled Portoroz / Portorose. All cancellations are dated 6 December 1994.


Slovenia - 50th Anniversary of ICAO.

Reverse of the above card with exhibition postmarks dated 7 December 1994.

Franked with 6-tolar stamp cancelled with Ljubljana postmark. ICAO cachet / postmark in upper left corner for the philatelic exhibition.




50th Anniversary of ICAO

Joint issue with Slovenia for the philatelic exhibition held in Ljubljana, Slovenia on

7 December 1994.

Cachet shows a Douglas DC-3.

Flew on flight OS-835 from Vienna to Laibach, Slovenia, by Austrian Airlines.


Slovenia - 50th Anniversary of ICAO.

Special card produced by the Slovenija philatelic association for the philatelic exhibition held in Ljubljana, Slovenia – Joint issue with Austria

7 December 1994.


Nauru – 12 December 1994.

Souvenir sheet with the four stamps of the issue.


Hong Kong, China.

50th Anniversary of ICAO. Hand-stamp.

Service cover sent by the Civil Aviation Department to UK’s Representative at ICAO.


Netherlands Antilles.

50th anniversary hand-stamp on service cover from ABN-AMRO Bank.






Cancel at Amsterdam. The text VERANTWOORK VLIEGEN means FLY RESPONSIBLY.


Red cancel at ‘s-Gravenhage, which is the abbreviation of Den Haag.


Cancel at Rotterdam.



Cancels with slogans from

Belgium, Denmark, French Polynesia, Monaco, the Netherlands (in black and in red), and Sweden.



Monaco – June 1995.

Phone card.

View of Monaco Heliport.


Front and back of cover sent from ICAO Bangkok Regional Office to Saint Petersburg, Russia. 50th Anniversary sticker.



The various hand-stamps refer to the Soviet Antarctic Expedition (Советская антарктическая экспедиция, САЭ, see blue stamp at the lower-right) to Молодёжная or Molodyozhnaya; this research station was established in East Antarctica in February 1962 at 67°40′S 45°50′E.

It is sometimes referred to as the capital of Antarctica.

The upper-right stamp refers to the RV Akademik Fyodorov (Академик Фёдоров), a Russian scientific diesel-electric research vessel, the flagship of the Russian polar research fleet. It started operations on 24 October 1987 in the USSR. The ship was named after a Soviet polar explorer, academician of the USSR Academy of Sciences Evgeny Fyodorov, who worked on the first Soviet manned drifting ice station North Pole-1.

The black-blue stamp at the upper-left refers to the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (Арктический и антарктический научно-исследовательский институт, abbreviated as ААНИИ), which is the oldest and largest Russian research institute in the field of comprehensive studies of Arctic and Antarctica. It is located in Saint Petersburg.


Cover sent from the Russian Arctic and Antarctic Research Center at the North Pole, with postmarks dated 6 March 2004. The latter date was the last day of operation of the North Pole-32 drifting station.

Emblem of ICAO’s 50th anniversary. Details with translations on the texts of the postmarks are provided here-after.

A remarkable expedition was accomplished by the USSR just prior to the start of World War II in 1937. Arctic studies over several decades were aimed at understanding of regularities of natural processes and how to forecast them. Therefore, drifting ice stations collected fundamental observational data. These operations continued until 1991 when the station "North Pole-31" terminated. The research program of the "North Pole" drifting stations is unequalled in the 20th century by duration, variety of observational material, importance of scientific discoveries, and number of resolved problems. Only recently, in spring 2003, after a 12-year break, has the next station been deployed. Known as "North Pole-32", it was the thirty-second drift monitoring station. The station was landed on drifting ice on 16 April 2003; the official opening was on 25 April 2003. As the ice flowed and moved, the scientists stayed at the outpost until 6 March 2004, when the ice destabilized, shooting up huge ridges, destroying the camp, and requiring a rescue evacuation.







6 МАР 2004  -›  6 MAR 2004




НаучнЫЙ центр Арктики и Антарктики  -›  Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute









Сєвєрный Полюс -›  North Pole