International Civil Aviation Day was established as part of International Civil Aviation Organization’s 50th anniversary activities in 1994.
In 1996, the United Nations General Assembly officially recognized December 7 as International Civil Aviation Day in the UN system.
The purpose of International Civil Aviation Day is to help create worldwide awareness of the importance of international civil aviation to the social and economic development of countries. It is also to raise awareness of ICAO's role in helping to cooperate and realize a global rapid transit network at the service of all mankind.
Every five years, the ICAO Council chooses a special anniversary theme for International Civil Aviation Day. A single theme is chosen for the full four-year period.
The Council has decided that from now until 2023, the theme will be: “Advancing Innovation for Global Aviation Development”.
The day has been celebrated by the International Civil Aviation Organisation since 1994, the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (ICAO), which was established in 1944 to establish co-operation and uniformity in aviation internationally.
The UK were initially unwilling to accept International Aviation Day and claimed that it didn’t fall within the guidelines of the ICAO and was a waste of UN resources, but now takes part, with air displays for example and fundraising from spectators, as the Battle of Britain anniversary falls within about a week of International Civil Aviation Day.