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Airport Codes: Who Decides Them?  
User currently offlineUsa4624 From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 278 posts, RR: 1
Posted (12 years 5 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 2811 times:

Some airport codes make sense, like AUS for Austin, FRA for Frankfurt, and even IAD for International Airport Dulles, and maybe ILE for Killeen. But how did Kansas City end up with MCI and Toronto with YYZ?  Confused

14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineSwissgabe From Switzerland, joined Jan 2000, 5266 posts, RR: 33
Reply 1, posted (12 years 5 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 2793 times:

I don't know if this has been discussed earlier. But I would say the IATA (International Air Transportation Association) provides airport codes to the airport it self but if there is a code still available the could ask to get an available code...

Tornoto with YYZ, well, I think all Canada codes start with Y anyway...

Most cities they have a city code and if the have several airports the are different codes.

Tokyo = TYO
Tokyo-Narita = NRT
Tokyo-Haneda = HND (HND doesn't make sense for Tokyo but for the name Haneda it does, that's the way it works for most airports).



Smooth as silk - Royal Orchid Service /// Suid-Afrikaanse Lugdiens - Springbok
User currently offlineAC340 From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 337 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (12 years 5 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 2793 times:

I and many other people have explained why Canadian airports all seem to start with Y. Please do a search on this topic. It's been discussed to death.

User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 19
Reply 3, posted (12 years 5 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 2787 times:

Each country is assigned a 1 or 2 letter code by the ICAO (these codes are originally much older, starting when longrange telegraphy became possible when the codes were used to identify the transmission statement).
The country would then add letters to this to get to 4 letter codes for each station.
For example, the USA got the entire letter K, adding 3 letters for each station.
These 3 letters for airports are now the letters mostly used for IATA codes (though there are exceptions). Often the letters are derived from the city name (KMIA for Miami for example), but the airport name is also possible (KJFK for John F. Kennedy in New York (I don't think there is a KNYC anymore, but I could be mistaken. Maybe it was the old airship terminal that's no longer in operation)).
Canada got several 2 letter codes, CY being assigned to airports (which is why all Canadian airport IATA codes start with a Y) and CC (among others) to aircraft.



I wish I were flying
User currently offlineGD727 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 925 posts, RR: 10
Reply 4, posted (12 years 5 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2756 times:

Kansas City has MCI because it used to be called Mid-Continent International.

-GD727



Mmmm forbidden donut.
User currently offlineAirsicknessbag From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 4723 posts, RR: 33
Reply 5, posted (12 years 5 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 2728 times:

Most airport codes do make sense - and it´s much easier to memorize them by their original meaning: whenever I see CVG, FAT, MCO, ORD, OGG or SFJ, Covington, Fresno Air Terminal, McCoy, Orchard, Hogg and Sondre Stromfjord pop up in my mind, rather than Cincinnati, Fresno, Orlando, Chicago, Kahului and Kangerlusuaq.
Daniel Smile


User currently offlineTom in NO From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 7194 posts, RR: 32
Reply 6, posted (12 years 5 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 2715 times:

I believe it's either an ICAO or IATA function. Now, here's one for the non-New Orleans people: who knows how New Orleans International got it's "MSY" designation?

Tom in NO (at MSY)



"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
User currently offlineSwissgabe From Switzerland, joined Jan 2000, 5266 posts, RR: 33
Reply 7, posted (12 years 5 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 2706 times:

Well, there are a few other codes I can't find any solution for...


LPQ for Luang Prabang in Laos, the Q doens't make any sense.
SZB is Subang-Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. The Z dosn't make any sense since the Airport is also called Sultan Shah Alam Airport.
TOD is for Tioman/Malaysia, the D doesn't make any sense at all
LAX, whats the X for?
FNJ for Pyongyang Funan Airport, why a "J"?
MFM for Macau?
USM for Koh Samui Airport in Thailand
HKT for Phuket in Thailand?

EWR doesn't have sense too but when you take a closer look: nEWaRk

BJS for Beijing, why an S?

SGN for Ho Chi Minh City (SaiGoN)

There are hundred of codes which doesn't have any sense at all and there is NO solution for it. They are called IATA 3 letter code so I think it has to be the IATA who gives them out...



Smooth as silk - Royal Orchid Service /// Suid-Afrikaanse Lugdiens - Springbok
User currently offlineGoboeing From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 2714 posts, RR: 15
Reply 8, posted (12 years 5 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 2697 times:

Tom,
Wasn't it called New Orleans Moisant Field? Now it's some jazz guy, I can't remember which one.
Originally in the USA, the airports were given 2 letter codes. Like Los Angeles (LA) or Phoenix (PH). Then when they realized they would run out, they added an X onto the existing ones. That's why there's LAX, PDX, PHX, etc.

Nick/KPHL


User currently offlineTom in NO From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 7194 posts, RR: 32
Reply 9, posted (12 years 5 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 2694 times:

It was originally Moisant Field, but where does the "SY" from "MSY" come from? FYI, we renamed the place after Louis Armstrong last August. Now it's called Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.

Tom in NO (at MSY)



"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
User currently offlineRedngold From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 6907 posts, RR: 44
Reply 10, posted (12 years 5 months 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 2672 times:

Just like BKL = BurKe Lakefront and CGF= CuyahoGa Field

one of my favorites is Hartford/Springfield = BDL= Bradley International Airport

redngold



Up, up and away!
User currently offlineFrequentflier From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 422 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (12 years 5 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 2646 times:

How about HPN? (Westchester County)

User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (12 years 5 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 2644 times:

The answer for HPN is wHite PlaiNs. Some city codes do not always seem logical, until they are explained to you. Take Fort Walton Beach, Florida, city code VPS. You're thinking, how do they get VPS out of Fort Walton Beach? The airport that serves FWB is actually in Valparasio, just outside of FWB. How airports get their codes is when they apply for their city code, they submit several choices (just like an airline does with airline codes), and if the code they wish to use is available, then they can use it. An interesting quirk in the city code system is that 'X' codes are normally reserved for U.S. Navy airfields, but when the new airport opened up in Fayetteville, Arkansas opened up, they got the city code XNA, the 'x' has nothing really to do with the name, but the NA part is short for Northwest Arkansas (Regional Airport). Some other cities whose codes don't make since intially, TYS (Knoxville, TN Tyson Field), BNA (Nashville, TN Berry Field), SWF (Newburgh, NY Stewart Field), and last, but not least, RSW (Fort Myers, Florida Southwest Florida Regional Airport).

User currently offlineFlightSimFreak From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 720 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (12 years 5 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2611 times:

Tom in NO... isn't it Louie Armstrong, not Louis Armstrong? Although, they did say Louis. I thought the jazz musician was Louie Armstrong.

User currently offlineConcorde1518 From United States of America, joined May 2001, 746 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (12 years 5 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2603 times:

It's pronounced Louie and spelled Louis.

 Smile


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