Airport Codes

There are over 5000 airports in the United States for public use. Listed here are the US airport codes for many international and regional airports as well as most of the public Canada airport codes.

Get your airport codes.

When traveling long distances, most people prefer to fly. When you consider all the hassles that may go along with flying, you can understand why some people try to avoid it. Some of those difficulties may include airport delays, getting through airport security, airport parking, and lost luggage. On the bright side, if you plan ahead, you can avoid most airport headaches. Get to the airport early. Check to see if your flight information has changed prior to departing. Pack light. Get to the airport early. Relax and bring things to do like your lap top or a book.

Some of the larger airports are like a small city with express shuttles, trams, taxis and buses coming in and out of the airport. There are hundreds of people that are work at an airport. Some of the airport jobs include baggage handlers, shop clerks, cleaning and maintenance workers and many more.

Everything There is to Know About US Airport Codes (Almost)

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The International Air Transportation Authority (IATA) is responsible for assigning airport location identifiers throughout the world. There are over 700 different IATA codes in regular use for airports in the United States.

Airport coding is very complicated. When aviation was just beginning, there was no need for special coding at all. Weather station designations were borrowed when necessary. In the 1930s, the first official coding system was developed. At the time, it seemed there would be no need for anything further than the 17,000 or so possible combinations of three alphabetic characters. As time passed, the letters N, Q, K, W, and Z were all reserved by various government agencies for use at the beginning of their codes. If a starting code letter was taken, airports had to develop creative variations. Eventually, international travel and the proliferation of airports made code options insufficient.

The United Nations developed a simplified system for all airports outside the US. This is called the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) code. It provides a four-character designation for every airport in the world. In this system, the first two letters are intended to identify the country and the last two are intended to identify the airport. In the UK, Kent International Airport has the ICAO code of EGMH. However, the same airport has a Untied States IATA code of MSE. In the US, the ICAO code is simply the IATA code with the letter K added at the beginning. Kent County International Airport (otherwise known as the Gerald Ford Airport) is located in Grand Rapids Michigan. It has an IATA code of GRR. The ICAO code is KGRR.

Then, in the 1960s, the Federal Aviation Authority stepped into the mix, and created codes for use only within the United States. Kent International Airport does not have an FAA code, because FAA codes do not apply outside the USA. Kent County International Airport does have an FAA code, which in this case is GRR, the same as its IATA code. Many times, the FAA code is the same as the IATA code. However, this is not always the case. For example, The Roben-Hood Airport in Big Rapids, Michigan has an IATA code of WBR, an ICAO code of KRQB and an FAA code of RQB. Take note of the similarities among these three airport and location names, and it is easy to see the possible confusion.

Thus, every US airport has three possible airport codes. While many of them are quite similar, there are variations that may puzzle even the most seasoned traveler or baggage handler. Perhaps this has something to do with why luggage can tend to go astray.