1937: IATA Airport Abbreviations

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IATA Airport Abbreviations
IATA stands for International AirporT Abbreviation.
Title text: IATA stands for International AirporT Abbreviation.

Explanation

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If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

This comic is making fun of the three-letter codes assigned to all airports. These codes are overseen by the IATA (International Air Transport Association). Some airport codes are very intuitive, taking letters from the city name (e.g. DEN for Denver). Other codes are somewhat intuitive, taking a letter or two from the nearby city name but adding an additional letter (e.g. LAX for Los Angeles). Other codes make seemingly no sense at all (e.g. ORD for Chicago's O'Hare International, due to it formerly being named Orchard Field). In many cases, the airport codes are being conflated with various abbreviations and acronyms.

IATA Code Actual Assigned City/Airport Description in the comic Explanation
AMD Ahmedabad Amsterdam Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands. Its Airport (called Schiphol) has the IATA code AMS.
ANC Anchorage Ankh-Morpork
ATL Atlanta Atalantë
BAE Barcelonnette Beijing Beijing is the capital of China. Its Airport has the IATA code PEK.
BLT Blackwater Baltimore
BUF Buffalo Sunnydale Sunnydale is the fictional setting of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
CLT Charlotte [CENSORED] The censored word may be "clitoris."
DFW Dallas/Fort Worth Down For Whatever
DTF not assigned Dartford "DTF" is an acronym used to indicate "Down To Fuck".
DTW Detroit Down To Whatever
DWI not assigned Delaware International "DWI" is an acronym for "Driving While Intoxicated" or "Driving While Impaired."
EWR Newark Edwards Air Force Base Edwards Air Force Base (which has the IATA code EDW) is a United States Air Force installation in southern California, about 22 miles (35 km) northeast of Lancaster and 15 miles (24 km) east of Rosamond.
FFS not assigned Flagstaff Station "FFS" is an acronym for "For Fuck's Sake".
FHQ not assigned FHQWHGADS
FYI not assigned Fayetteville "FYI" often stands for "For Your Information".
HGM not assigned Hogsmeade Hogsmeade is a fictional location in the Harry Potter series.
HSV Huntsville Huntsville
IAD Washington Idaho (Boise)
IUD Doha Washington Dulles
JFC not assigned Jefferson City
KUL Kuala Lumpur Kingdom of Loathing
LAX Los Angeles Las Angalas
LOL Lovelock Louisville "LOL" often stands for "Lauging Out Loud".
MDW Chicago (Midway) Midway Atoll
MIA Miami Colombo, Sri Lanka
OMW not assigned Omaha
ORD Chicago (O'Hare) Orlando
PDX Portland Pordlanx
PHL Philadelphia Pittsburgh
SAN San Diego San Diego
San Juan
San Jose
San Francisco
San Antonio
SEA Seattle [Indicates Water Landing]
SMH Sapmanga Smithfield
STL St. Louis Silent Hill
SWF Newburgh, New York Sherwood Forest
TBA Tabibuga Tribeca
TMI Tumlingtar Turkmenistan International "TMI" often stands for "Too Much Information".
YYY Mont-Joli Toronto Downtown The small airport in downtown Toronto is Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport which has an IATA code of YTZ.
YYZ Toronto Toronto Pearson

Transcript

Confused by those airport abbreviations used by your friends who fly a lot? Just memorize this list.

Aside 1: I'm flying into EWR tonight, then DTW tomorrow.
Aside 2: Ok, Cool. I definitely know what those mean without Googling.
AMD Amsterdam
BAE Beijing
ORD Orlando
IAD Idaho (Boise)
JFC Jefferson City
IUD Washington Dulles
FYI Fayetteville
LOL Louisville
ATL Atalante
HGM Hogsmeade
OMW Omaha
ANC Ankh-Morpork
HSV Hunstville
SAN San Diego
SAN San Juan
SAN San Jose
SAN San Francisco
SAN San Antonio
DWI Delaware International
DFW Down for Whatever
DTW Down to Whatever
TMI Turkmenistan International
LAX Las Angalas
EWR Edwards Air Force Base
PHL Pittsburgh
SWF Sherwood Forest
KUL Kingdom of Loathing
STL Silent Hill
BUF Sunnydale
TBA Tribeca
SMH Smithfield
BLT Baltimore
YYY Toronto Downtown
YYZ Toronto Pearson
MIA Colombo, Sri Lanka
CLT Censored
FHQ Fhqwhgads
FFS Flagstaff Station
DTF Dartford
MDW Midway Atoll
PDX Pordlanx
SEA Indicates Water Landing


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Discussion

CLT is Charlotte Douglass International, but maybe the [censored] tag is referring to what this acronym sounds like when it's pronounced phonetically? 172.69.68.219 16:01, 3 January 2018 (UTC)

Maybe someone just flew in or out of it and realized how messed up it is.  :) (I live in Charlotte and fly 4 times a year) --108.162.237.106 14:19, 5 January 2018 (UTC)

IATA actually stands for [Air Transport Association]. Nutster (talk) 16:12, 3 January 2018 (UTC)

Ankh-Morpork is from Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. Hogsmeade is from Harry Potter. Kingdom of Loathing is a web-based multiplayer game. Sunnydale is from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (BUF). fhqwhgads is from a Strong Bad email (Homestar Runner). 108.162.238.35 16:15, 3 January 2018 (UTC)

The Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (Downtown Toronto) actually uses the call sign YTZ, not YYY. Nutster (talk) 16:18, 3 January 2018 (UTC)

List of the codes and airport names
AMD  Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport
BAE  Barcelonnette – Saint-Pons Airport
ORD  O'Hare International Airport
IAD  Washington Dulles International Airport
JFC  -
IUD  -
FYI  -
LOL  Derby Field
ATL  Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport
HGM  - 
OMW  -
ANC  Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport
HSV  Huntsville International Airport (Carl T. Jones Field)
SAN  San Diego International Airport
DWI  -
DFW  Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
DTW  Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport
TMI  Tumlingtar Airport
LAX  Los Angeles International Airport
EWR  Newark Liberty International Airport
PHL  Philadelphia International Airport
SWF  Stewart International Airport
KUL  Kuala Lumpur International Airport
STL  Lambert–St. Louis International Airport
BUF  Buffalo Niagara International Airport
TBA  Tabibuga Airport
SMH  Sapmanga Airport
BLT  Blackwater Airport
YYY  Mont-Joli Airport
YYZ  Toronto Pearson International Airport
MIA  Miami International Airport
CLT  Charlotte Douglas International Airport
FHQ  -
FFS  -
DTF  -
MDW  Midway International Airport  
PDX  Portland International Airport
SEA  Seattle–Tacoma International Airport

Jefe9247 (talk) 16:33, 3 January 2018 (UTC)

Could "Las Angalas" be the way Tommy Wiseau pronounces it? Tait marconi (talk) 20:17, 3 January 2018 (UTC)

Re SWF being Sherwood Forest. Robin Hood airport, nearish to the historic location of Sherwood Forest actually exists. Sadly the IATA code is DSA (Doncaster Sheffield airport) - Putters -- Putters (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I think that substituting PHL for Pittsburgh's airport might also be a jab at how Facebook got confused a few months ago, labeling posts from Pittsburgh as originating in Philadelphia. -- FuzzyBoots (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Possibly also relevant that quite a few of these are common abbreviations used in text-based communication (e.g. LOL, FYI, FFS, TMI, etc.). I wonder if it's something like https://xkcd.com/1015/, where once you've memorised these abbreviations you can't help but think of the (annoying and incorrect) airports that they stand for when reading text messages from others. 162.158.89.31 23:00, 3 January 2018 (UTC)

I think KIX should be added as well, it stands for Kansai International Airport. Boeing-787lover 05:28, 5 January 2018 (UTC) -- Xkcdreader52 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Major Omission

i'd like to add BHD -- Baggage Handlers' Decision. MCMXLVII (talk) 02:34, 4 January 2018 (UTC)

Also: HIJ - hijacking; ISS - self-explanatory141.101.76.16 09:50, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
A Question

The page has the line "Randall notes in the what if? book that Delaware has no airports. This entry is also a play on the nearby real airport BWI, Baltimore-Washington International." Which what-if is this from?

--173.245.52.151 16:49, 4 January 2018 (UTC)

The chapter in the book is "Flyover States: Which US state is actually flown over the most?" Rtanenbaum (talk) 18:16, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
Observation

SeaTac isn't esp close to water (closest is >1 mile, perpendicular to runway orientation), although some of the flight patterns have segments over Puget Sound [Flight Patterns]. Still, nothing like LGA or SFO where a short/long can put the plane in the water. 172.68.141.238 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Another Missing Airport

What about FUK? The first time I saw this one, I checked with my boss. It is for Fukuoka, Japan. 162.158.75.232 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I was disappointed not to see Montreal's weird-ass code YUL in here (until I read the chart and found out nearly none are real), but it's nice to still see an explanation of the Y, LOL! NiceGuy1 (talk) 05:58, 5 January 2018 (UTC)

I wanted to see HMB (Sohag International Airport) 173.245.52.109 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
I'm still disappointed that my local airport (for Dunedin, New Zealand) has the unfortunate abbreviation DUD. 198.41.238.22 11:53, 6 January 2018 (UTC)