N737MC From Canada, joined Oct 2000, 677 posts, RR: 18 Posted (2 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 2336 times:
Hey guys, I live in north Denver and saw this beauty making a nice trail going northwest bound. CKS916 from KMSY-KANC operated by an all white 747-200F. Does anyone know the reg for this flight? I watched it with my binoculars and so nice to see this classic jet still flying over!
Does anyone know the reason for this routing today? I know it is a chart of some sort.
blueflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 3474 posts, RR: 1 Reply 5, posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 2156 times:
Quoting Continental (Reply 2): It's actually PANC. Why Hawaii and Alaska use "P" instead of "K", I'm not sure!
Technically, Hawaii uses PH and Alaska uses PA (or PF or PO or PP), not just P.
The ICAO four-letter code has actually been designed to indicate part of the world and country where an airport is located. The first letter indicates which of the 22 ICAO regions the airport is in, and the second letter which country (in some cases, "country" is a loose term) within that region the airport is in. The remaining two letters are the actual airport code.
Hawaii is in the P region (Eastern North Pacific), in the H country (USA - State of Hawaii). Technically, Honolulu's airport code is NL, in H country and P region, thus PHNL.
Alaska is in the P region too, and most airports are in the A country (USA - State of Alaska). For some reasons, there are a few exceptions such as the Ft Yukon area which has its own country, F (USA - State of Alaska - Ft Yukon). Anchorage's airport code is NC, Ft Yukon's is YU, so their respective full ICAO codes are PANC and PFYU.
There are three countries large enough that they each get an entire region to themselves, and airports within these countries get a three-letter code. They are C (Canada), K (Contiguous United States) and Y (Australia). The Soviet Union had its own region as well, designated by U, but now U is the "Russia And Former Soviet States" region, further divided into countries.
Evidently, Canada and the US chose to use the IATA code as the airport code section of their ICAO code (there are a few exceptions), while Australia and the Soviet Union did not. I can't explain why.
Some countries are not large enough to have their own region, but are too large to be covered by a single country letter, such as Brazil, which has 7 different country letters within its region, and Japan that has two.