It is my understanding that changing the IATA code is a rare thing. Very rare in fact. Which can explain why Delhi remains DEL.
If codes were allowed to change, every time a politician got an airport named after (at least in the US since there seems to be a propensity to do this here)then we'd be changing the codes . . . time consuming, costly, unnecessary.
Other US airports off the top of my head that changed names or were once military and are now civilian, but never changed codes:
GEG = Spokane, Washington - formerly Geiger Army Air Field
MCO = Orlando, Florida - formerly McCoy Air Force Base
ORD = O'Hare, Chicago, Illinois - formerly Orchard Field Airport
More trivia on Airport Codes:
A lot of places that have an 'X' in the third space previously had two letter codes. When more and more airport started popping up aroud the coutnry and the world, a third letter was obviously necessary. To make things easier, so I'm led to believe, a "X" was added to simplify the change.
Windowseater From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 51 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (7 years 8 months 15 hours ago) and read 5607 times:
Thanks for the insight, ANCFlyer !
Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 2): If codes were allowed to change, every time a politician got an airport named after (at least in the US since there seems to be a propensity to do this here)then we'd be changing the codes . . . time consuming, costly, unnecessary.
It's equally annoying here in India, where politicians think changing/naming airports or even names of cities will suddenly change things for the better.
'To invent an airplane is nothing. To build one is something. To fly is everything.' - Otto Lilienthal
ANother From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 5, posted (7 years 8 months 14 hours ago) and read 5578 times:
I think you are confusing Airport and City codes. JFK is not New York - it is New York Kennedy Airport. New York is NYC. DEL, which has just one airport uses this code to describe both the city and the airport. I can't think of any examples where a single airport city has different codes for the two.
As noted codes change very rarely. Even DEN remained DEN (as a city code and the code for the 'main' airport) when the actual airport changed from Stapleton to that very large thing on the prairie (tm) (The rules include "Assigned three-letter location identifiers are considered permanent. They shall not be duplicated. They shall not be changed without strong justification primarily concerning air safety") Doesn't say it doesn't happen - for example the US 'bought' the code BWI from Papua New Guinea.
How does IATA do it? Carefully is probably the best explanation.
Gr8Circle From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 3045 posts, RR: 4 Reply 10, posted (7 years 8 months 14 hours ago) and read 5537 times:
Quoting Windowseater (Thread starter): Also, if anyone can shed light on why the code for Delhi Airport is still DEL, and not something like IGI after Indira Gandhi International Airport ?
I honestly feel that airport names should reflect the name of the city and not the given name of the airport......so DEL is better than anything indicating 'Indira Gandhi International....." tomorrow, when the Gandhi family falls out of favour with the Indian politicians, the name may change again....
FlySSC From France, joined Aug 2003, 7353 posts, RR: 58 Reply 12, posted (7 years 8 months 13 hours ago) and read 5499 times:
Quoting Windowseater (Thread starter): How does the process of assigning/changing an IATA airport code work ? I mean before JFK and CDG, what were the codes for these airports ?
You must make the difference between "City Code" and "Airport code".
Usually, the two codes (City & Airports) are the same when only one airport is serving the city. Example : FRA (Frankfurt), MAD (Madrid), LIS, SFO, JNB etc ...
A specific "Airport code" is given when two or several airports serve the same city.
Before CDG ...there was nothing but ORY (for Orly Airport) and LBG (Le Bourget), for serving Paris (City Code PAR).
Same for London (LON) with LHR, LGW, STN etc...
Moscow (MOW) with SVO, VNK, DMO ...
Milan (MIL) with MXP & LIN
Buenos Aires (BUE) with EZE & AEP
Tokyo (TYO) with HND and NRT
Rome (ROM) with FCO & CIA
Rio de Janairo (RIO) with GIG a SDU
Considering that there are 6 cities in the US (with airports) with the name Columbus you are lucky to get something this close. (For these six cities you have 14 airports) There are also four cities, with 7 airports, with the name Columbia!
RedChili From Norway, joined Jul 2005, 2137 posts, RR: 4 Reply 20, posted (7 years 8 months 12 hours ago) and read 5442 times:
A few years ago, both the city code for Oslo and the airport code for Fornebu was OSL, while the airport code for Gardermoen was GEN. Then, the airport code for Fornebu was changed into FBU, and when Fornebu was closed, Gardermoen inherited the OSL airport code.
FlyDeltaJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1717 posts, RR: 2 Reply 22, posted (7 years 8 months 11 hours ago) and read 5393 times:
Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 2): A lot of places that have an 'X' in the third space previously had two letter codes. When more and more airport started popping up aroud the coutnry and the world, a third letter was obviously necessary. To make things easier, so I'm led to believe, a "X" was added to simplify the change.
LAX, PDX, PHX for example.
According to my training at Delta on Airport codes the X was supposed to designate port cities.
Rossbaku From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 673 posts, RR: 1 Reply 24, posted (7 years 8 months 9 hours ago) and read 5297 times:
Baku, Azerbaijan used to be BAK up until about December 2003 when the former president, Heydar Aliyev (or Geydar Aliyev), died and as a mark of respect the airport was changed from Baku Bina International Airport to Heydar Aliyev International Airport, and the code changed to GYD (I suspect for GeYDar Aliyev).
The guy has everything named after him. Whenever someone puts an advert in the newspapers in Azerbaijan they usually say "beside Heydar Aliyev park"...the question is....WHICH ONE?! He's got the airport, conference centre, billboards etc. The man may be dead but his legacy sure lives on!
25 Lincoln: ...confusing. Can you imagine the hell that would break loose (especially with airline employees, travel agents, etc) if all of a sudden city ABC was
26 FAT5DEP: A fews years back, I was flying around Fresno and I heard over the approach control frequency confusion between another pilot and ATC. The confusion w
27 RIXrat: And then to make your whole day a nightmare, there is ICAO which has put a four digit prefix on airport codes and which do not register on a mouse swe
28 Timz: I guess all the US airline airports had two-letter codes until about 1947, so who knows why some of them got an added X and most didn't.
29 RIXrat: I may be wrong, but the "X" designation was put in showing the airport to be a hub, or a transfer airport.
30 Timz: In 1947, you mean? SFO and LGA and DCA and CHI weren't "transfer airports"?
31 Floorrunner: I found an interesting website that explains where a lot of the airport codes came from. It is called Airport ABCs: An Explanation of Airport Identifi
32 FATFlyer: Of course then you'd have travel agents thinking they were booking to Clovis, NM. FAT was renamed Fresno-Yosemite International in 1996 (just after A