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Why IAD & IAH?  
User currently offlinesierra3tango From United Arab Emirates, joined Mar 2013, 289 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2451 times:

The IATA codes for airports in the USA seem to follow the practice used around the world with the exception of IAD & IAH,
Why?

I assume these codes were dreamt up years ago and its too difficult to change them. Rather like Mumbai still has BOM as its code as presumably any change gone into the too difficult tray

Airports are quite often named after (locally) famous people, Houston after George Bush (presumably after the code was created) and Washington after ?John Foster Dulles?

Is it something like 'international airport' where (at the time of creation of the code) there were 2 airports in these cities?

Anybody know why?

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16793 posts, RR: 51
Reply 1, posted (1 year 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2445 times:

International Airport Dulles (IAD)
Intercontinental airport Houston (IAH)

HOU was already taken by Houston Hobby airport before IAH was built. And DCA was established before IAD.



Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineBigGSFO From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2910 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (1 year 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2420 times:

Quoting STT757 (Reply 1):
HOU was already taken by Houston Hobby airport before IAH was built. And DCA was established before IAD.

...and WAS was already taken to indicate all Washington DC airports.


User currently offlineIAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 22
Reply 3, posted (1 year 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2394 times:

Moderators, suggest deletion this thread as the same already exists in civil aviation.


Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
User currently offlineIAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 22
Reply 4, posted (1 year 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2325 times:

Well it looks like the mods locked the other thread....oh well.


Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
User currently offlinesierra3tango From United Arab Emirates, joined Mar 2013, 289 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2320 times:

Quoting IAHFLYR (Reply 4):
Well it looks like the mods locked the other thread....oh well.

I give up, what a waste of time


User currently offlinekgaiflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 4216 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (1 year 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2319 times:
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Quoting mesaflyguy (Reply 4):
it is physically located in Dulles, Virginia

Quoting simairlinenet (Reply 8):
"Dulles, Virginia" did not exist as an area until well after the airport was built.


What we now call "The Village of Dulles" is an unincorporated area that we used to call "Chantilly." AFAIK, the original "Dulles" community was a housing area developed by the Van Meter real estate group.


User currently offlineTWA772LR From United States of America, joined Nov 2011, 1677 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (1 year 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 2086 times:

Since this is about airports in the USA with "IA" as the first to letters in the airport code, I got one even better, McConnell AFB is IAB...


Я говорю по-русский. :)
User currently offlinenrt1011 From Canada, joined Jan 2005, 104 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2044 times:

Well those explanations seem reasonable. Now have a go at why us, in Canada, have weird names like YYZ for Toronto etc.

User currently offlinesierra3tango From United Arab Emirates, joined Mar 2013, 289 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 2004 times:

Quoting nrt1011 (Reply 8):
Well those explanations seem reasonable. Now have a go at why us, in Canada, have weird names like YYZ for Toronto etc.

OK - tell us why Canada has weird codes


User currently offlineAA777223 From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1227 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (1 year 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 1969 times:

Why doesn't it create the same issue with DAL and DFW that DIA and DCA had, for example?


Sic 'em bears
User currently offlineblueflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 3901 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (1 year 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 1918 times:
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Quoting nrt1011 (Reply 8):
Now have a go at why us, in Canada, have weird names like YYZ for Toronto etc.

I am missing some of the details, but the short answer is, it goes back to weather reporting station codes. Historically, they were two-letter codes with the first letter chosen from V to Z (I think) to distinguish them from US stations.

When airports were built, they "adopted" the code of the weather station nearby, when one was available, if not they made up a new code. Eventually, someone decided it was necessary to distinguish airports with and without a weather station, and all airports with weather reporting had a Y added to the front of their code (unofficially for "yes weather service is available"), and airports without got a Z instead.

I think it is still true to this day. Smaller Canadian airports without their own weather service have a three-letter code starting with Z, not Y.

Note: strictly from memory and I certainly don't deal with weather station codes every day, so I probably bungled a few things.



I've got $h*t to do
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