A Short History of Civil Aviation Organization (CAO)
One day in 1917 toward the end of World War I ,the inhabitants of Tehran observed an airplane for the first time flying low over Te-hran sky. As there was no airport in Tehran at that time, the pilot landed on the site of the present Foreign Ministry and the Constabulary.This airplane had been made in Russia and its parts were carried in a box by car from Bandar Anzali to Tehran and were asse-mbled in Tehran and a Russian pilot flew the airplane.
The rapid progress of developed countries in the fields of industry, technology and trade, attracted the attention of the government authorities to the new and rapidly developing industry of aviation. Following the interest of different countries toward the use of this technolo-gy. The Iranian government assigned the exclusive right of aviation in Iran to a German aviation company called Unkers in February 1926.
The Said Company opened its branch in Iran in 1926 and established air routes to Mashhad, Shiraz, Bandar Anzali and Bushehr cities by importing a number of Unkers airplanes and undertook the transportation of mail and passenger.
In1938, a pilot club was established with a number of 20 airplanes. In August 1946, the government established a department called the General Department of Civil Aviation.
The said Department started its work in one room in the lower story of Shamsolemara Building with one boss and one employee. One year later. The place of this Department was moved to Mehrabad Airport with a budget amounting to 300,000 Tumans. About three years later, i.e. on July 18, 1949, the Civil Aviation Law was ratified by the Parliament and the General Department of Civil Aviation came under control of the Ministry of Roads.
In 1974. The said Department was renamed as Civil Aviation Organization and went under supervision of the Ministry of War. Upon victory of the Islamic Revolution and upon approval of the Revolution Council, it was separated from the Ministry of War on February 25,1979 and joined the Ministry of Roads and Transportation. In order to get familiar with the Civil Aviation Organization which is today res-ponsible for governing the air transportation industry as a blooming and highly transcendent organization, it just needs to be said that after the Islamic Revolution and in spite of the problems during the eight years of war and the dismissal of the foreign experts, all responsibilities and tasks were undertaken by the capable Iranian specialists and the number of airports in the country reac-hed from 22 airports before the Revolution to 70 operational airports and the number of passengers reached from nearly three millions before the Revolution to about 20 million passengers per year.