Friday, May 04, 2012

was canada last in line when they handed out airport codes?

pearson international airport in toronto is not TOR or PIA, it's YYZ. pierre trudeau (dorval) in montreal is YUL. vancouver is YVR. calgary is YYC. they all seem to start with a Y and have no apparent relationship to the name of the city or airport.

contrast that with the US: philadelphia is PHL, new york's john f. kennedy airport is JFK. atlanta is ATL. dallas-fort worth is DFW. los angeles is LAX. chicago o'hare is ORD, but that's because when they handed out the codes the airport was called "orchard field airport". there are some weird american ones (e.g. quincy regional airport is UIN), but they all tend to be small obscure regional airports. none of the canadian codes seem to stand for anything, even for airports in major canadian cities.

and non-canadian foreign countries tend to have sensible codes for their major airports. charles de gaul airport in paris is CDG. london-heathrow is LHR. barcelona's airport is BCN. lagos (nigeria) is LOS. hong kong international is HKG. damascus is DAM, just to pick some random ones. hell, even almaty, kazakhstan (called alma-ata when they assigned airport codes) is ALA.

what's the deal with canada?