The letters in the anagram ICAO stands for International Civil Aviation Organisation and it is a specialised body within the United Nations dedicated to air travel safety.
The ICAO was set up when the Second World War was still at the peak in 1944. Its mission is to manage the implementation of the Chicago Convention which is related to international civil aviation.
The ICAO works in tandem with the 191 states which are members of the United Nations as well as aviation industry players to find agreement on common international standards that all operators in the sky should safeguard and implement.
Following meetings with all the concerned ICAO will draw up officials letters that contain the International Civil Aviation Standards and Recommended Practices. Once these are drafted, they are then transposed into national law around the world and a common legal framework is observed by all signatories around the world. There are 100,000 flights that operate around the world every single day and if it wasn’t for the ICAO forging a common position for everyone to observe, this would not be possible, at least not without hundreds of accidents on a daily basis.
The ICAO is also heavily involved with industry players, such as aviation companies that construct aircraft to be kept in the loop about developing technologies. Because the ICAO has to forge a way ahead on future guidelines and legislations, it is imperative that it keeps one step ahead so there is no backlog once new technological advancements are rolled out. This can include anything from avionics to the actual material which aircrafts are made out of. One issue that came to light recently was a fault with the lithium batteries on a new breed of passenger planes which the ICAO had to work on in order to establish new global safety procedures.