|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.
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