Montreal is not large city like Paris and New York, nor a important place in aviation history like Kitty Hawk(Wright brothers first flight) or Friedrichshafen (Zeppelin airship first flight). Why Montreal is being chosen as the headquarters of 2 biggest aviation organization.

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    $\begingroup$ While there may be an interesting answer to this question, it's probably not on topic here. $\endgroup$ – fooot Aug 19 '15 at 20:44
  • $\begingroup$ It should be noted that both organisations have moved HQ around the world a number of times. $\endgroup$ – Danny Beckett Aug 19 '15 at 23:30
  • $\begingroup$ Pure speculation on my side, but being a bilingual city (covering two of the organisation's five official languages) must also be an advantage when hosting a global organisation. Not the deciding factor, but nevertheless an advantage in the negotiations. $\endgroup$ – Monolo Aug 20 '15 at 13:45

ICAO is headquartered in Montreal because that was the result of a vote by the founding members (PICAO is Provisional ICAO):

Why was Montreal selected? While insisting on the excellent hospitality offered since of the beginnings of PICAO by the federal, provincial and municipal authorities, the delegates described Montreal like a roundabout of the international means of communication and a strategic centre with a formidable economic, scientific, technical and aeronautical expansion being felt for a few years. One insisted on the vast spaces of the Canadian territory, offering unlimited possibilities for the scientific and practical experiments in the field of aviation. Moreover, PICAO was to be established as close as possible to the central head office of the United Nations.

And IATA is in Montreal because its founding statutes said that it must be in the same location as ICAO:

Article II of the IATA 1945 Statutes states that “The Head Office of this Association shall be maintained in the city in which the headquarters of the International Civil Aviation Organization is located.”; this article was later amended to leave an opening for a possible other place as determined by the General Meeting

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    $\begingroup$ +1 for providing sources (and interesting ones, too), but they are written in Comic Sans! Does that really count as a reference? $\endgroup$ – Monolo Aug 20 '15 at 13:46
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    $\begingroup$ @Monolo :-) Well, the professionals seem to think it has its uses $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Aug 20 '15 at 13:51

In addition to Pondlife's answer, it may be worth noting that Montreal is an important place in aviation history as the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air (now known as the Montreal Convention) was signed there.



  • $\begingroup$ That convention was signed in 1999, so those organizations had already been in Montreal for over 50 years at that point. $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Aug 20 '15 at 12:31
  • $\begingroup$ @pondlife I know, and I accept your answer as the correct one, I still felt it important to point out that Montreal has a rather large significance in aviation history... $\endgroup$ – Minnie Aug 20 '15 at 14:30
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    $\begingroup$ Isn't it far more likely that the Montreal Convention was signed in Montreal because it is the ICAO headquarters rather than the other way around? $\endgroup$ – Zach Lipton Aug 20 '15 at 14:56
  • $\begingroup$ @Minnie Yes, absolutely, but I would say this should be a comment: it's interesting and relevant, but it doesn't actually answer the question $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Aug 20 '15 at 15:22
  • $\begingroup$ @Pondlife understood! i couldn't post comments when i posted this because i didn't have enough points! in future i will keep it in comments! $\endgroup$ – Minnie Aug 20 '15 at 15:57

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