what system is flightaware using when you can’t use LHR for Heathrow but something else? An international system? It’s just i’ve got to always look up or type in one to get the other. thank you
The three letter codes you’re used to are IATA (International Air Transport Association) codes that are easy for airline passengers to remember, so they’re used for airline ticketing. However, it’s a horrible system because it only allows for 17,576 airports in the world before you start using numbers or having duplicate codes.
FlightAware’s ICAO code system is used by pilots, air traffic controllers, charter companies, airlines (behind the scenes), etc. It is a unique code for every airport and is an internationally accepted standard.
There is a similar IATA/ICAO issue with airline codes. For example, Southwest’s IATA code is WN whereas their ICAO code is SWA. FlightAware redirects some IATA airline codes to the correct ICAO code and we will likely do that in the future for popular IATA airline codes that differ significantly from their IACO counterpart.
thank you … i kind of figured that and your explanation was excellent. thank you again…sbord