Did you ever try to make a rental car reservation or set up a flight but get stuck but you don’t know the 3 letter code of the airport? With around 40 thousand airports spread across the globe—19 thousand of which are in the United States alone—having airport codes in the US and in the 195 countries around the world are essential. All airports are universally identified by an official three-letter code, known in the aviation circle as the “International Air Transport Association (IATA) Location Identifier.” These codes make it easier for pilots, flight controllers, computers, travel agents and airport crew to identify a particular airport instead of having to say the name in full. However, it can be confusing to consumers trying to book an online flight or rental car when asked to provide a symbol.
The practice of having airport codes in the US began soon after commercial flights became a regular mode of transportation within the United States. As aviation continued to expand to worldwide status, pilots and flight controllers began assigning a specific code or local ID to airports all over the world. Read more »