Subject: Re: airport codes.
To: None <,>
From: Ross Harvey <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 10/19/2000 11:21:34
> From: Richard Rauch <>
> > > (Side: KCI is listed as MCI in our airports file.  Technically, it is in
> > > Missouri, but I've always heard it referred to as KCI.  Dunno what they
>  [...]
> > >From
> > 
> > 	MCI Kansas City, MO [Kansas City International Airport], USA
> Hm.  Perhaps just as importantly, from the same URL:
> 4385.  KCI Kono, Indonesia
> (Although, from the comments at the top, _that_ KCI could just be a city
> name, and not represent an airport...)
> The Kansas City International airport does seem to refer to itself as KCI,
> however, not MCI (which is really along-distance phone company; (^&).  
> Whether that has any meaning w.r.t. this list, I'm not sure.  (The URL
> that you cite seems to really be talking about luggage tags, which isn't
> necessarily the same thing.)

Not that this matters, but there is an unambiguous name for all the world's
airports, called the "ICAO name"(*). In the USA, it is always K..., so LAX
is "really" KLAX, and SBA is "really" KSBA.  European airports are L...,
Canadian ones are C..., etc.

The use of this name is rather specialized. (Filing international flight
plans, looking up airport weather observations and forecasts, etc.)

The three digit code is called the "IATA name"(**). It's almost always what
passengers talk about and what appears on luggage tags, but travel and
ticket agents have both names on their computers.

Some airports without pax service don't have IATA names.

I've never seen an airport within the USA where the ICAO and IATA names
differed by more than the K.

I've never seen an airport outside the USA where they did NOT differ

Occasionally within a region an airport acronym is used, even though it is
not at all like either of the actual airport codes. ("KCI", sigh.) Travel
and ticket agents presumably just silently correct this for people.

	Ross Harvey

 * International Civil Aviation Organization

** International Air Transport Association