The airport codes are of three letters. And, it’s a common knowledge
for almost all the air travelers. In most of the cases these airport
codes easily decipher the arrival or destination cities, but sometimes
these seem to be weird and difficult to attribute the cities they belong
to. Decoding the destination through an airport code is often perplexing
though. For travelers, particularly those who are not aware of the
nitty-gritty, this seems more of a mystery. Let us understand the story
behind some of these awkward and bizarre airport codes.
For instance the airport codes for cities like Perth, Melbourne and
Sydney are quite understandable. For Perth it is PER, Melbourne has MEL
and Sydney has SYD. These airport codes make perfect sense and one can
easily understand that the first three letters easily signify the cities
that they belong to. But this naming convention is not followed with
most of the cities. For example, what will you say in case of a city
like Brisbane? The airport code of Brisbane is BNE, whereas it should
have been BRI similar to that of Melbourne, Perth or Sydney. In fact,
the airport code BRI is allocated to Bari, an Italian city.
Some of the city’s airport codes are derived after skipping few letters.
And, even these make sense. Cities like Adelaide, Auckland and Hong
Kong have airport codes ‘ADL’, ‘AKL’ and ‘HKG’ respectively. These
airport codes closely fit to their respective cities.
But one can be surprised on seeing the airport code of Los Angeles as
‘LAX’. Most of the travelers know that LAX or Los Angeles is one and the
same. But, how did the letter ‘X’ creep in the airport code of Los
Angeles? There’s a story behind this and it knowing it will certainly
add to your knowledge as to how the airport codes actually evolved over
In earlier days when air travel was just beginning or taking shape,
the airports were usually known by a two-letter code named after the
weather station. So, the airport code of Los Angeles was simply LA.
However, with the growth of air travel a need arose to name the airports
with a proper airport code. Keeping this in view, a three-letter code
was introduced to identify the airports. And, so began the story of the
letter ‘X’ and the way in which it is proving to be helpful in naming
Akin to Los Angeles, even the airport code of Portland is PDX. As we
move forward and come to know about other cities, one will be surprised
to know that the airport code of Dubai is also DXB. However, it should
have been ‘DUB’. But, this in fact belongs to Dublin and Dubai followed
suit of Los Angeles and Portland by getting the ‘X’ letter in its
airport code. It is not only the letter ‘X’ which has made entry. Even
letter ‘Z’ has also entered the scene. The proposed Sydney West Airport
being built at Badgery’s Creek in Australia has its airport code named
as ‘SWZ’. So, this is the real story behind the airport codes and how
they are evolving.