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Airport Icao Codes  
User currently offlineDexSwart From Australia, joined Aug 2012, 631 posts, RR: 1
Posted (2 years 11 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 2599 times:

Please ignore, disregard and delete if this is a duplicate, the search feature didn't come up with anything on my iPad.

Okay, hi all, I was wondering about the odd designators for ICAO airport codes. Could anyone please explain how, the US for example got K as the first letter for its codes,. E.g. KJFK for JFK. KBOS for BOS and so on.

I know that regions or "zones" have a basic First letter, like Southern and Central Africa has F as its preceding letter, or W for Southeastern Asia.

Was it just a random draw initially or was there any specific rhyme or reason to it?

Durban. Melbourne. Denver. Hong Kong.
2 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineCitationJet From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 2627 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (2 years 11 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 2477 times:

The International Civil Aviation Organization was formed in 1947 under the auspices of the United Nations, and it established Flight Information Regions (FIRs) for controlling air traffic and making airport identification simple and clear.

Code selections in North America were based on existing radio station identifiers. For example, radio stations in Canada were already starting with "C", so it seemed logical to begin Canadian airport identifiers with Cxxx. The United States had many pre-existing airports with established mnemonic codes. Their ICAO codes were formed simply by prepending a K to the existing codes, as half the radio station identifiers in the US began with K. Most ICAO codes outside the US and Canada have a stronger geographical structure.


Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,737,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773.
User currently offlineCitationJet From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 2627 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (2 years 11 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 2475 times:

Slightly off topic, here is a great video that describes the history of three letter airport (not necessarily ICAO) codes:

Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,737,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773.
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