The roles of ICAO & FAA in Aviation

Blog Post

Rules and regulations are crucial to avoid chaos and danger. They help outline what a person can or cannot do. They exist to sustain equity, protect people from each other, promote certain values and to provide goods and services. It also offers protection to victims of crimes and punishment to those who violate laws. Without them, we would not have any guidelines to help keep society functioning day-to-day.

In aviation, there are also certain and specific rules and regulations that every individual must follow to ensure safety and avoid unnecessary accidents from happening. The ICAO and FAA are two organisations in charge of enforcing air navigation rules and regulations which are crucial within the industry. This week, we will look at their retrospective roles in more detail and where D.G Controls can help to play a part in providing warning signals in aviation.

International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) is a specialised agency and an aviation technical body of the United Nations. Its headquarters is located in Montreal, Canada. It was created after the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation of which was signed by 52 countries in 1944 and was sanctioned and founded in 1947. ICAO’s primary role is to provide a set of standards which will help regulate aviation across the world. It classifies the principles and techniques of international air navigation, as well as the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safety and security. Furthermore, it oversees the US Government’s International Group on International Aviation (IGIA). The international aviation standards were provided to the 191 member states of ICAO around the globe through a global forum in which the member states are expected to adopt and implement these standards. However, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) only provides the fundamental guidelines or SARPs (Standards and Recommended Practices). It is possible for each member states/countries to modify and adjust these regulations when necessary under ICAO’s approval. Despite slight variations from different countries based on the actual implementation in national regulations, civil aviation standards and regulations are still consistent all over the world. These local differences are then reported back to ICAO and published.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or formerly “Federal Aviation Agency” is a national aviation authority of the United States formed in 1958. The FAA is primarily responsible for the advancement, safety, security and regulation of civil aviation. FAA ensures that every aircraft pilot understands their role as air navigators and that all aircraft in operation follows a strict set of guidelines in order to ensure safety and minimise danger. To accomplish these things, FAA created an effective set of aviation regulations known as the Federal Aviation Regulations.

The Federal Aviation Regulations or FAR is a document which consists of tens of thousands of sections covering every details of aviation. It gives detailed instructions such as aircraft maintenance, pilot requirements, hot-air ballooning and model rocket launches, covering almost everything that is needed in order to understand how, when and what to fly. Aircraft pilots and air carriers are very much required to be familiar with the rules and regulations outlined in the FARs.

Aside from its regulatory role, the FAA is also responsible for research and development of aviation related systems and technologies, air traffic control system, maintenance of air navigation facilities infrastructure, airspace and development of commercial space travel.

Primary roles of ICAO and FAA

Some of the major roles of ICAO and FAA in aviation are already mentioned above. One of their primary roles is of course to ensure security and safety by regulating all aspects of civil aviation which includes the construction and operation of airports, the management of air traffic, the certification of personnel and aircraft, enforcing rules and regulations for obstruction lighting, aeronautical charts, search and rescue standards and many more aspects pertaining to air navigation.

ICAO Approved Warning Signals

ICAO Annex 14 Chapter 6, visual aids for denoting obstacles, recommends that: “Low-intensity, Type A or B, should be used where the object is a less extensive one and its height above the surrounding ground is less than 45m.” At D.G Controls, we can provide obstruction warning beacons that meet these requirements and comply with the ICAO standards should you need them. See link below:

Here at D.G. Controls we offer a range of Low Intensity ICAO Beacons:


Low Intensity, certified to ICAO Annex 14, Chapter 6 regulations.

Has a 360 degree viewing enclosure and can be found at:


Low Intensity, meets ICAO requirements for Low Intensity Obstruction Warning Type-B.

Its heavy duty enclosure makes it more suitable for industrial/obstruction use and can be found at:


Exceeds requirements of both CAA (Vehicle Obstacle) and ICAO (Low Intensity Type-C) regulations.

Available with or without magnetic base.

Click here for more information.

For further information, please call us on 01283 550850.