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Why are Alaska and Hawaii ICAO airport codes different from those in the contintental U.S.?

Posted: Wed May 13, 2020 11:32 pm
by DiegoSS02
I have noticed a while ago that airports in Alaska and Hawaii have their ICAO codes start with "P" instead of "K", as in the rest of the U.S.. For example; Anchorage is PANC instead of KANC. Is there a specific reason for this?

Re: Why are Alaska and Hawaii ICAO airport codes different from those in the contintental U.S.?

Posted: Wed May 13, 2020 11:37 pm
by GalaxyFlyer
The ICAO system was devised before either were states and both were assigned to the PAC ICAO region.

Re: Why are Alaska and Hawaii ICAO airport codes different from those in the contintental U.S.?

Posted: Sat May 16, 2020 8:14 pm
by Redbellyguppy
Because they are not in the continental United States.

Re: Why are Alaska and Hawaii ICAO airport codes different from those in the contintental U.S.?

Posted: Sun May 17, 2020 8:34 pm
by Yikes!
Alaska and Hawaii gained statehood under the US Constitution in 1959 - long after the initial ICAO "K" codes were compiled for the continental USA.

Re: Why are Alaska and Hawaii ICAO airport codes different from those in the contintental U.S.?

Posted: Wed May 20, 2020 1:07 pm
by ELBOB
Let's not forget that when the ICAO proposed four-letter codes in 1947, the USA objected and said three-letter codes were sufficient...

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
The ICAO system was devised before either were states and both were assigned to the PAC ICAO region.


Indeed, the very first proposal was [national identification][specific airport], each of two letters.

Re: Why are Alaska and Hawaii ICAO airport codes different from those in the contintental U.S.?

Posted: Thu May 21, 2020 4:58 am
by Yikes!
ELBOB wrote:
Let's not forget that when the ICAO proposed four-letter codes in 1947, the USA objected and said three-letter codes were sufficient...

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
The ICAO system was devised before either were states and both were assigned to the PAC ICAO region.


Indeed, the very first proposal was [national identification][specific airport], each of two letters.


Today's IATA (International Air Transport Association) i.e. travel agencies, use a similar system. KJK (ICAO) = JFK (IATA); EGKK (ICAO) - LGW (London, Gatwick, IATA), etc.

Hope that helps the understanding.

Re: Why are Alaska and Hawaii ICAO airport codes different from those in the contintental U.S.?

Posted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 10:38 pm
by wxman11
ELBOB wrote:
Let's not forget that when the ICAO proposed four-letter codes in 1947, the USA objected and said three-letter codes were sufficient...


Hmmm.. Interesting. I wonder what made them think that??? I will have to apply my historian skills to research this as I find it interesting.

Re: Why are Alaska and Hawaii ICAO airport codes different from those in the contintental U.S.?

Posted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 10:56 am
by akiss20
wxman11 wrote:
ELBOB wrote:
Let's not forget that when the ICAO proposed four-letter codes in 1947, the USA objected and said three-letter codes were sufficient...


Hmmm.. Interesting. I wonder what made them think that??? I will have to apply my historian skills to research this as I find it interesting.


Probably the same thing that made people say we’ll never need more than 32-bit memory addresses in computers or more than 2 digit numbers to identify years: a lack of ability to anticipate future growth.

Re: Why are Alaska and Hawaii ICAO airport codes different from those in the contintental U.S.?

Posted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 11:29 am
by SheikhDjibouti
wxman11 wrote:
ELBOB wrote:
Let's not forget that when the ICAO proposed four-letter codes in 1947, the USA objected and said three-letter codes were sufficient...

Hmmm.. Interesting. I wonder what made them think that??? I will have to apply my historian skills to research this as I find it interesting.

The USA also decided to omit the "u" in colour, favour, and lord knows what else... in order to save ink.

With that philosophy in mind, using three letters because it satisfies your needs 98% of the time is quite logical.

Plus the USA doesn't have too many problems with foreign countries on their doorstep. Basically it's just Canada and Mexico.
And in 1947 aircraft were not routinely flying into US airspace from anywhere else, so who needs all these international identifiers?

The fact that the rest of the world has different issues (apart from maybe Australia & NZ) is not the USA's problem.

Now, when y'all finished throwing rocks at me, here's something that might be more relevant;
These airport codes are not really an invention of ICAO at all; the convention they follow predates that organisation, and are more related to radio callsigns thrashed out in the great Radiotelegraphic Conference of 1927.

A good place to start might be the ITU - but fair warning, it's part of the United Nations
Worse than that, they conduct proceedings in French. :duck:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internati ... tion_Union

Re: Why are Alaska and Hawaii ICAO airport codes different from those in the contintental U.S.?

Posted: Fri Jul 10, 2020 2:50 pm
by Cubsrule
Yikes! wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
The ICAO system was devised before either were states and both were assigned to the PAC ICAO region.


Indeed, the very first proposal was [national identification][specific airport], each of two letters.


. . . which is pretty much how it works on most of the world, whether it's SC for Chile, RJ for Japan or EI for Ireland. Canada and the US are anomalous and all sorts of states and territories isolated from their home countries don't follow the rules either, although some do (e.g. IPC is SCIP even though it probably ought to have an N ICAO code).