Airport Codes from Airport City Codes

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Definitions of terms used in Database :

    • The airport code is a three letter designator for a commercial airport, or other travel point -- e.g. a large bus station. These are the codes that airlines and pilots use to identify airports and are used in timetables, baggage tags, tickets, advertisements, Airline and Global Reservation Systems. There are approximately 9,000 of them in use of a total of 17,576 available. IATA in Geneva is responsible for the designation of these codes. Many people ask me how many aiports are there by country, here's a link to a chart that shows you.

  • Country Abbreviation

      Each country has an intuitive two-letter alpha code that is used in data bases around the world not only by airlines, but by shipping companies, phone companies and any company that has a global reach.

  • Country Number

      Each country also has a number in all those databases which follow a pattern of:
      000-099: USA -- in this data base the number
      corresponds to a state
      100-199: Central America
      200-299: Caribbean
      300-399: South America
      400-499: Europe
      500-599: Africa
      600-699: Middle East
      700-799: Asia, Russian Federation and Indian Sub Continent
      800-899: Australasia
      900-999: Canada
      I don't know who devised these and why they are different from telephone country codes, but they are. 

  • GMT Offset

      This is how many hours this city is away from the Grenwich Meridian in jolly old London, England without accounting for adjustments for daylight savings time. So for example, a GMT offset of -3 means that at 3pm in London, it is 6:00pm in that city, and a +6 means that it would be 9:00am in that city. GMT means Greenwich Mean Time, or Greenwich Meridian Time.

  • Runway Length and Elevation

    This data is a little old and may not have the latest distance of the runway in ft, or be updated for a new runway. So if you're a pilot planning to land a plane here, please don't blame me if the runway has been shortened. I also only have the data for about 8,000 of the 9,000 airports. The distances (in feet) are important for pilots because bigger planes need longer runways to take off and land. The elevation (in feet also) is important to know because the air gets thinner the higher you are and thus it requires more speed (or less weight) to get the lift under the wings to take off, and more speed generally requires a greater runway length. Airlines have to study carefully each aircraft/route/runway combination to make sure that it's aircraft can successfully take off from an airport and fly the intended route with varying loads of passengers and cargo. In some extreme cases like La Paz in Bolivia aircraft have to be modified because at 13,000 ft, the altitude is so high that if you were to open the door of normal jet-plane on arrival, all the oxygen masks would deploy as the sensors would think that the plane had depressurized.

      Most people know that the world is divided up into a set of numerical references that describe your position somewhere on the face of this planet. Most people however who have a GPS device have absolutely no idea how to use these coordinates. Hopefully, if you have a GPS device and take a reading where you are (near a big city), it should match the data in this data base. If not, either you are terribly lost, your GPS has malfunctioned, or my data is wrong. Furthermore you have seen the lines drawn on maps of the world that circle the globe horizontally and vertically -- these are the major lines of latitude and longitude. Because this planet is nearly spherical, the lines are divided up into measurements called degrees, minutes and seconds which are similar to angles of a circle but in three dimensions. These numbers help pilots and captains navigate, and nowadays car companies use them to offer in-car products to people who don't know how to read a map. I use them to calculate an approximate flight time and distance between two points on the globe and hopefully will soon include this feature on this web-site.

    If there's a city or an airport missing, or an incorrect code, please let me know. You may find a few errors and a few new airports not yet added. So sticklers for perfection will have to bear with me.



    Site last updated December, 2004
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