January 23, 2023


Sofema Aviation Services (SAS) considers the role, purpose, and applicability of International Civil Aviation Organisation ICAO Annex 1, 6 & 8.

ICAO Annex 1, 6 & 8 – Introduction

ICAO SARPS (Standards and Recommended Practices) for each area of ICAO responsibility are contained in 19 Annexes. Each Annex deals with a particular subject area. All are subject to regular amendment and the detail in respect of many of them is contained in publications in the numbered ICAO Document Series.

Annex 1 – Personnel Licensing:

The purpose of Annex 1 is to provide Standards and Recommended Practices (SARP) for:

  • Licensing flight crew members, such as pilots, flight engineers, and flight navigators,
  • Air traffic controllers,
  • Aeronautical station operators,
  • Maintenance technicians, and
  • Flight dispatchers.

It also includes medical provisions for licensing. Licensing is as old as aviation itself. When aviation stretched its wings over borders and across oceans in its drive to connect all parts of the world, difficulties began and the need for international standards became obvious.

Annex 1 Is applicable to all applicants for and, on renewal, to all holders of the licenses and ratings and contains Standards and Recommended Practices adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organization as the minimum standards for personnel licensing.

ICAO Training Manuals

Related training manuals developed by ICAO provide guidance to States for the scope and depth of training curricula which will ensure confidence in safe air navigation, as intended by the Chicago Convention and Annex 1.

Applicability – ICAO training manuals additionally provide guidance for the training of other aviation personnel such as:

  • Aerodrome emergency crews,
  • Flight operations officers,
  • Radio operators, and
  • Individuals involved in other related disciplines.

ICAO & Human Factor Considerations  

  • Human Factors as a subject with importance and direct relevance to flight safety was officially recognized by ICAO in 1986 when the 26th Assembly adopted Resolution A26-9.
  • Following up to A26-9 Resolution, the Air Navigation Commission formulated the mission of the Flight Safety and Human Factors Programme:

o Addresses known human capabilities and limitations;
o Providing States with basic information on the subject matter;
o Material necessary to design proper training programmes.

Maintaining International Licensing Standards

One of ICAO’s main tasks related to licensing is to ensure that international licensing standards are harmonised with current practices and probable future developments.

Amendment 178 to Annex 1 ( Mar 22) introduced new provisions for the use of electronic pilot licenses.

  • Sets out a new common format to provide for simplified license verification by other States.

Annex 6

Annex 6 provides criteria for safe operating practices and to contribute to the efficiency and regularity of international air navigation by encouraging the Member States to facilitate the passage over their territories of commercial aircraft belonging to other countries and operating with these criteria. The current Annex 6 Operation of Aircraft is divided into three parts/volumes:

  • Part I – International Commercial Air Transport – Aeroplanes
  • Part II – International General Aviation – Aeroplanes
  • Part III – International Operations – Helicopters.

Note: Annex 6 was renamed in December 1951 Operation of Aircraft – International Commercial Air Transport.

Annex 6 specifies international Standards and Recommended Practices for aeroplanes used in international commercial air transport operation carrying passengers or freight.

The Annex addresses:

  • Flight operations
  • Performance operating limitations
  • Aeroplane instruments
  • Equipment and flight documents
  • Aeroplane communication and navigation equipment
  • Aeroplane maintenance
  • Flight crew
  • Flight operations officers / flight dispatchers
  • Manuals, logs and records
  • Cabin crew
  • Security
  • Lights to be displayed in the air and on the ground during operations
  • Contents of an operations manual
  • Flight time and flight duty period limitations

New provisions adopted by ICAO Council in March 2016 are aimed at preventing the loss of commercial aircraft experiencing distress in remote locations.

  • The requirement for aircraft to carry autonomous distress tracking devices which can autonomously transmit location information at least once every minute in distress circumstances
  • The requirement for aircraft to be equipped with a means to have flight recorder data recovered and made available in a timely manner
  • Extending the duration of cockpit voice recordings to 25 hours so that they cover all phases of flight for all types of operations.

Amendments to Annex 6 adopted in March 2022 propose the following:

  • The use of ground proximity warning systems by smaller aeroplanes.
  • The introduction of a runway overrun awareness and alerting system intended to reduce runway excursion incidents and accidents.
  • Clarification on the need for an aircraft pilot to consider the level of rescue and fire-fighting services available at the airports being used.
  • Annex alignment with the ICAO Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (Doc 9284), ensuring helicopter operations with dangerous goods receive the same oversight as other aircraft.
  • New guidance on alternate safe landing considerations for off-shore helicopter operations.

Annex 8

Annex 8 Concerns the Airworthiness of Aircraft specifically related to the design, construction in accordance with the requirements of the State of Design and Operation in compliance with the appropriate airworthiness requirements of the State of Registry of the aircraft.

Article 33 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation places the burden on the State of Registry to recognize and render valid an airworthiness certificate issued by another Contracting State, subject to the condition that the airworthiness requirements under which such a certificate is issued or rendered valid are equal to or above the minimum standards which may be established by ICAO from time to time pursuant to the Convention. (These minimum standards are contained in Annex 8)

Annex 8 includes broad standards which define, for application by the national airworthiness authorities, the minimum basis for the recognition by States of Certificates of Airworthiness for flights of aircraft of other States into and over their territories.

Annex 8 is divided into four parts

  • Part I includes definitions
  • Part II deals with procedures for certification and continuing airworthiness of aircraft
  • Part III includes technical requirements for the certification of new large aeroplane designs
  • Part IV deals with helicopters.

The aircraft is issued with a Certificate of Airworthiness by the state of Operation declaring that the aircraft is fit to fly.

Annex 8 includes broad standards which define, for application by the national airworthiness authorities, the minimum basis for the recognition by States of Certificates of Airworthiness for the purpose of flight of aircraft of other States into and over their territories, thereby achieving, among other things, protection of other aircraft, third parties and property.

Annex 8 also facilitates the import and export of aircraft, as well as the exchange of aircraft for lease, charter or interchange.

Next Steps

Follow this link to our Library to find & Download related support documents.

Sofema Aviation Services (SAS) www.sassofia.com and Sofema Online (SOL) www.sofemaonline.com provide regulatory compliant as well as vocational training courses please see the website or email team@sassofia.com for additional guidance.


Airworthiness, Annex 1 - Personnel Licensing, aviation, EASA, HF, Human Factors, ICAO, ICAO Annex 1, ICAO Annex 6, ICAO Annex 8, International Licensing Standards, SAS blogs, Training Manuals