Train from Helsinki Airport
Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

So You Think You Know Airport Codes? Test Your Knowledge. Part Three.

The list is even more difficult than last time.

So you think you know airport codes? Well, you are about to find out.

This is the third of a series of articles here at The Gate with which you could have some fun at testing your knowledge pertaining to airport codes — and although the first article started off with the easiest or best known airport codes and the second article was a little more difficult, subsequent articles will continue to be increasing in difficulty as they delve into airports which are smaller and lesser known…

So You Think You Know Airport Codes? Test Your Knowledge. Part Three.

Hilton Paris Orly Airport
Photograph ©2008 by Brian Cohen.

…but first, here is a little history about airport codes…

The International Civil Aviation Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations, established by States in 1944 to manage the administration and governance of the Convention on International Civil Aviation, which is also known as the Chicago Convention.

Airport codes designated by the International Civil Aviation Organization are comprised of four letters. The first letter generally designates a specific region; while the second letter may designate a more finite region in many areas.

For example, K is used for the continental United States — such as KATL for Atlanta and KLAS for Las Vegas — but P is used for Alaska, Hawaii, and other territories of the United States in the northern Pacific Ocean. Examples include PANC for Anchorage, PHNL for Honolulu, and PGUM for Guam.

S represents all of South America — for example, SAEZ is Buenos Aires. Y represents all of Australia — for example, YSSY for Sydney.

International Air Transport Association

Atlanta TRACON
Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

The International Air Transport Association represents, leads, and serves the airline industry to improve understanding of the air transport industry among decision makers and increase awareness of the benefits that aviation brings to national and global economies. Advocating for the interests of airlines across the globe, we challenge unreasonable rules and charges, hold regulators and governments to account, and strive for sensible regulation.

Codes for airports and railway stations are comprised of three letters as designated by the International Air Transport Association. The three letters can simply represent the geographic location of the airport or railway station — or they could be based on the history or founding of the airport or railway station.

In the United States and Canada, International Air Transport Association codes are typically based on International Civil Aviation Organization codes. In the United States, the only difference between the codes is the addition of the letter K — for example as mentioned before, ATL for Atlanta is KATL and LAS for Las Vegas is KLAS. In Canada, the only difference between the codes is the addition of the letter C — for example, YYZ for Toronto is CYYZ and YVR for Vancouver is CYVR.

For most other airports around the world, International Civil Aviation Organization codes and International Air Transport Association do not resemble each other — for example:

  • JNB for Johannesburg is FAJS
  • FCO for Rome is LIRF
  • NRT for Tokyo is RJAA
  • EZE for Buenos Aires is SAEZ
  • AKL for Auckland is NZAA

Airport Codes

Review: Hilton Garden Inn Krakow Airport
Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Here are 50 additional airport codes which continue this series of articles:

  1. EYW
  2. COS
  3. BTV
  4. BHM
  5. DSM
  6. GSO
  7. ISP
  8. DAY
  9. LIT
  10. HPN
  11. DAB
  12. BGR
  13. AZA
  14. SBA
  15. RAP
  16. MSN
  17. ABE
  18. CAK
  19. FAI
  20. MSO
  21. MRY
  22. SGF
  23. ILM
  24. CHA
  25. EUG
  26. LEX
  27. MLB
  28. MDT
  29. CAE
  30. TLH
  31. EGE
  32. ICT
  33. BIL
  34. TVC
  35. HHH
  36. GJT
  37. MFR
  38. XNA
  39. JAN
  40. SWF
  41. MLI
  42. SBN
  43. FNT
  44. APF
  45. LAN
  46. ACY
  47. ASE
  48. FLG
  49. CID
  50. HEL

Final Boarding Call

Train from Helsinki Airport
Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

The articles are not meant to be an exhaustive list of airport codes — but they will highlight at least 600 of them.

You could test your knowledge of airport codes off the top of your head…

…or you could simply refer to this article which was posted here at The Gate back on Saturday, June 6, 2020 and find the answers using the tools which are highlighted there — but really: what is the fun in that?

All photographs ©2008, ©2015, and ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!