The Nordic delegation to ICAO is based upon a joint agreement between the Civil Aviation Authorities of the Nordic States. The Scandinavian Delegation, known as the Scandinavian Secretariat founded in 1944 originally comprised Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Finland joined in 1976, and, to reflect this inclusion the name was changed to the Nordic Delegation. In 1980, Iceland became a member, and as of 16 December 2013, Estonia and Latvia also joined the Nordic Delegation. The formal name of the Delegation is that of the State which at any given time holds the member seat in the ICAO Council.
The cooperation between the Nordic States goes all the way back to the Chicago Conference in 1944 where Norway, as a newly-elected Member of the Interim Council, was considered a Representative for the Nordic geographical area. The Interim Council, first elected on December 6, 1944, consisted of 20 Delegates.
Three years later, in May 1947, the first Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization took place in Windsor Hall, Montreal. Neither Norway nor Denmark ran for a seat in the Council, in order to facilitate the election of Sweden. The Swedish delegate expressed his gratitude for his State's election to the Council, commenting at the time that the actions of Norway and Denmark demonstrated;
“Further evidence of that spirit of cooperation which the Scandinavian countries have already shown on international air routes, where they are, in fact, operating a joint airline service.”
The reference he made was to Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS), which was founded on August 1,1946, a company that still operates domestic and international routes to and from the Scandinavian countries.
Today, the Nordic Delegation to ICAO represents a combined population of approximately 25 million, spread over a land area of 3.5 million km². The airspace controlled by the five Nordic States totals approximately 8,4 million km², comprising a vast area in Northern Europe and over the North Atlantic equivalent to 82 percent of the European landmass or the entire landmass of Brazil.
One achievement that has arisen from the close cooperation between the five Nordic States through the years is the remarkably harmonized national legislation within the five States regarding civil aviation regulation. This has been made possible in part because a Nordic Representative has been steadily maintained on the ICAO Council and in the Air Navigation Commission. The Nordic States have succeeded in participating actively in ICAO’s programmes, harmonizing to the fullest extent possible the Nordic position in all ICAO matters and ratifying international Conventions made under the auspices of ICAO.