The Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA) evolved from the Directorate of Civil Aviation - Eastern Caribbean States, which may be considered as one of the oldest, if not the oldest institutions in the Eastern Caribbean region. From inception, the Directorate was seen as a vehicle for facilitating a collective and uniform approach to Civil Aviation matters affecting the then Windward and Leeward Islands, which now comprise the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Group.
A Director of Civil Aviation was first appointed in 1957 by the Government of the United Kingdom. In 1961, the responsibilities of the post were advertised as "to advise the Governments of the Windward and Leeward Islands on all matters relating to Civil Aviation including airfields and airport developments, the implementation of ICAO conventions and the adequacy of air services."
Dissolution of the West Indies Federation in 1962 and reversion of the islands to the former colonial status meant that the Directorate was again exercising the functions on behalf of the UK Government.
Administration of the Directorate was assigned to the Antigua and Barbuda government until 1968 when the West Indies Associate States (WISA) Council of Ministers assumed responsibility for its operation.
In 1982, the Directorate became an Institution of the OECS through the Treaty of Basseterre, which established the OECS.
Five Member States of the OECS are signatories to the Chicago Convention, which established the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). Accordingly, they are obligated to meet the Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS) enshrined in ICAO's eighteen annexes. They agree on certain principles and arrangements in order that international civil aviation may be developed in a safe and orderly manner. They must collaborate to the highest degree to achieve standardisation and harmonisation in regulations, rules, standards, procedures and practices. Thus, they should establish and implement a system that enables them to satisfactorily discharge their obligations and responsibilities.