That’s a Daily Mail piece that Alan H. forwards to me.
There are three letter airport codes that match the first three letters of their city name, like SYD for Sydney and MEL for Melbourne, Australia.
They don’t get to use the first three letters for Detroit Metropolitan Airport, since DET is actually the old Detroit City Airport (now named ‘Coleman A. Young Municipal Airport’ and without scheduled commercial service).
New York’s JFK airport is JFK, LaGuardia takes three letters from its name, and Hong Kong (HKG) does as well.
Denver gets DEN but many mistakenly or colloquially refer to it as ‘DIA’.
What the article taught me that I didn’t actually know:
- Early airports used two letter codes based on weather stations, and those legacy airports get an ‘X’ (hence LAX, SUX).
- Canadian airports start with a Y because of a naming convention derived from radio stations (West Coast stations – and airports – have ICAO indicators starting with a K, as with radio all of Canadian has a unique starting letter)..
I’ve always been amused by airport codes, possibly because I lived in Fresno (FAT) for a time. The airport long wanted to call itself Fresno Yosemite International (“FYI”) to trick people into thinking you’d need to fly there to get to Yosemite, it’s a good place to do it but not the only place. But it’s still just FAT (“Fresno Air Terminal”).
I always wanted to ticket an itinerary from Fresno, California to Fukuoka, Japan. Or from Fresno to Pensacola, Florida.