The President of the Council


According to Article 51 of the Chicago Convention, the ICAO Council is headed by a President, elected for a term of three years. Since 1945, the Provisional International Civil Aviation Organization (PICAO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) have had six Presidents:

1.     Dr. Edward Warner from the USA. On 15 August 1945, he was elected President of the Council of the Provisional International Civil Aviation Organization (PICAO). He served as President of the Council of PICAO and ICAO from 1945 to 18 April 1957.

2.    Mr. Walter Binaghi from Argentina. His term of office was from 19 April 1957 to 31 July 1976.

3.    Dr. Assad Kotaite from Lebanon. Dr. Kotaite was Secretary General of ICAO from 1 August 1970 until 1 August 1976 when he became President of the Council of ICAO. His term of office as President was from 1 August 1976 to 31 July 2006. Shortly after his retirement, Dr. Kotaite became the first-ever President Emeritus of the ICAO Council. The 40th Edward Warner Award, the highest honour in the world of civil aviation, was conferred in 2013 by the ICAO Council on Dr. Assad Kotaite, in recognition of his eminent contribution to the development of international civil aviation, most notably in the field of diplomacy and conciliation. In 2013, ICAO published Dr. Kotaite’s Memoirs under the title: “50 Years of International Diplomacy and Conciliation in Aviation”.

With the longest career among senior officials in the history of the United Nations, Dr. Kotaite’s tenure at ICAO is unparalleled. Not only remarkable for his contributions that spanned a half-century, but for the critical role he played in promoting air transport as a driver of economic, cultural and sustainable development worldwide.

In his time at ICAO, the Organization faced significant challenges ranging from the rapid expansion of membership that resulted in the construction of the current Headquarters building, to the sustained growth of civil aviation and disputes over sovereignty. These and other challenges and achievements are detailed in the biography written by Dr. Kotaite: My Memoirs: 50 Years of International Diplomacy and Conciliation in Aviation.

In his memoirs, Dr. Kotaite noted, “Aviation no doubt illustrates the power of human inventiveness, the irrepressible human impulse to overcome natural obstacles and challenges. But it also demonstrates how the International Civil Aviation Organization, growing from the wartime deliberations of the Chicago Conference, has become a highly relevant and effective Organization promoting peace, cooperation, security and safety in the skies as part of the United Nations.”

Dr. Kotaite often brought the Preamble to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, the legal instrument of modern civil aviation signed in Chicago on 7 December 1944 back into focus, particularly in times of crisis. Most notably, he cited the Preamble in a speech following the 9/11 attacks to condemn the misuse of civil aviation and call upon nations to join forces in eradicating threats to global society.

Following his retirement on 31 July 2006, Dr. Kotaite established the Assad Kotaite Graduate and Postdoctoral Fellowship Fund.

4.    Mr. Roberto Kobeh Gonzalez from Mexico. He was President of ICAO from 1 August 2006 until 31 December 2013. It is to be noted that Roberto Kobeh Gonzalez was honoured in 2016 by a stamp issued by the Mexican Postal Service in recognition of his outstanding contribution for the benefit of national and international civil aviation. See at the following link: Mexico: Roberto Kobeh González – 50 years at the service of aviation.

5.    Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu from Nigeria. He took over the reins as ICAO Council President beginning 1 January 2014, for a six-year term ending on 31 December 2019.

6.    Mr. Salvatore Sciacchitano from Italy, elected as President for a first three-year term, beginning 1 January 2020. He was re-elected by acclamation on 24 October 2022 for a second three-year term as President of the Council, commencing on 1 January 2023.


The portraits of the past-Presidents are placed at the entrance of the ICAO Council Chamber.



1 May 1947 - Internal mail on the official letterhead paper

addressed to the ICAO Staff Association.


Picture of Dr. Edward Warner.


Service cover sent from the UN located at Lake Success to Dr. Warner.

Postmarked on 24 November 1950.

Prior to the construction of the current complex in New York City, the UN was headquartered, from 1946 to 1952, in a building that during World War II had been a Sperry Gyroscope Co. plant located at Lake Success, New York, an eastern suburb of the city in Nassau County on Long Island.


Mail sent to Dr. Warner on service cover from the International Labour Office, Geneva 

Postmarked on 14 November 1954.


1957 - Mr. Binaghi passes the Council Chamber gavel to his successor, Dr. Kotaite.


Mail sent to Mr. Binaghi - Postmarked on 17 June 1971.


Mail sent to Dr. Kotaite from the Ministry of Transport, Warsaw, Poland

Postmarked on 17 March 1994.


2006 - Dr. Kotaite passes the Council Chamber gavel to his successor, Mr. Roberto Kobeh Gonzalez.


Mail sent to Mr. Roberto Kobeh Gonzalez

from the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), Manila, Philippines

Postmarked on 21 November 2006 - Receiving stamp added by ICAO.


In recognition of the outstanding contribution of Ing. Roberto Kobeh Gonzalez for the benefit of national and international civil aviation, the Mexican Postal Service, Correos de México, issued on 29 November 2016 a commemorative postal stamp in which its image is appreciated at the highest level to the service of the aviation. More information on this issue can be found at: Mexico: Roberto Kobeh González – 50 years at the service of aviation.


Registered service cover sent from Azerbaijan to Dr. Aliu, President of the Council,

postmarked on 13 April 2015.

In one of his addresses, President Aliu stressed that "Progress through consensus and collaboration is the aviation sector’s greatest strength, and will certainly be the key factor in how air transport continues to contribute to the global economic development and the promotion of peaceful relations amongst States in the decades ahead."


2019 - Dr. Aliu passes the Council Chamber gavel to his successor, Mr. Salvatore Sciacchitano.


Service cover sent from the Ambassador of Argentina at Ottawa

to Mr. Salvatore Sciacchitano, President of the Council,


Portraits of the past-Presidents at the entrance of the Council Chamber.


The Council Chamber, as designed by Luc Plante and Richard Godbout, Architects,

for Provencher Roy et Associés Architectes.