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ORD, JFK, SFO, AXA…where do those

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 19, 2004

ORD, JFK, SFO, AXA…where do those airport codes come from anyway?.

Reader comments

AdamMar 19, 2004 at 8:18PM

Without attribution, yet! ; . )

JordonMar 20, 2004 at 11:35PM

Then there are the lousy and apparently random Canadian codes where most but not all start with Y. Lots of contradictory opinions here :: http://www.airlinequality.com/Interact/Q1_J00135.htm

ericMar 21, 2004 at 8:33PM

Interestingly enough, American codes all start with K. The difference is, in Canada it looks like they don’t drop the Y, whereas in America the K is ignored in general.

Thus, Sea-Tac (SEA) is actually KSEA; Paine Field (PAE) is KPAE, San Francisco (SFO) is actually KSFO, etc.

There are so many airports in America, however, that most of the smaller ones don’t have descriptive abbreviations. Jefferson County, for instance, is 0S9, while Langley is W10. Not that most (if any) of you all care. :D

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.

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