newbie questions


#1

just discovered this neato site! hope no one minds the following newbie questions:

  1. i notice that airport codes are given as KIAH, KHNL, for what i know as IAH and HNL (George bush intl, and Honlulu). why the prefix K?
  2. flight CO51 is shown as going from IAH to SAEZ. the latter is Buenos aires which i have always thought as EZE. So I dont understand the SAEZ.

thanks for your help.

Quark


#2

Isn’t Honolulu actually PHNL? Just going off the top of my sunburnt head…

Also, as far as the answer to #2…Because that is what it SAEZ it is (get it? SAEZ or Says? HA HA HA HA…I am so freaking funny…

Honestly, those are good questions…


#3

The three letter codes are International Air Transport Association (IATA) codes. IATA is made up mostly of airlines, and they’re generally more “friendly” in terms of relating the code to the airport.
The four letter codes are International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) codes. ICAO is made up of the governing bodies from countries and regions around the world. These codes are more structured (e.g. one and two letter prefixes for countries).

For most airports in the continental US, the ICAO code is just the IATA code with a K (the US’s country code) added to it; if you enter the IATA code (for an airport in the continental US) into FlightAware, it will automatically prepend the K.

For Alaska and Hawaii, the ICAO prefixes are PA and PH, respectively. The first two letters of the IATA are then added to this (OGG becomes PHOG, FAI becomes PAFA); the exception is when the IATA code begins with an A or H (in the “right” state), where you keep all three letters of the IATA code and prepend a P (HNL becomes PHNL, ANC becomes PANC).
It appears that Argentina (country code SA) is following a similar pattern.

Some countries (China and Japan come to mind) will assign their premier airport the code AA, presumably to be first on the list. For exampe ZBAA (Beijing Capital) and RJAA (Tokyo Nartia).

And then there are the pilots who file the wrong code. I’ve seen KANC and KHNL.


#4

In the states, the K is only used when the ID is all letters, it doesnt work for airports with numbers in their code. This is one of the reasons that some airports get their code changed, usually after adding a weather reporting ASOS or the like. They need to have an ICAO (all letter, beginning with K) code to make it an official (METAR) weather reporting station.
-J-


#5

Thanks for the explanations from mduell and cfijames. I had no idea that more than one coding system exists.

I assume pilots use the ICAO system since thats what flightaware reports.

Quark


#6

Notice how he didn’t include Pika. :wink:


#7

As someone who has lived in Hawaii, I can tell you that your statement is wrong. It should read “In the *contiguous *states…” Hawaii and Alaska are both states but they don’t use the letter “K” in their ICAO identifiers.


#8

I sit corrected.
I always forget out those ‘other’ states. I rented a 172 out of PKOA when my wife and I were there on our honeymoon. It was great, we flew right over the active lava vent near Kileaua.
James


#9

In the Flightaware tradition of leaving no nit unpicked…, that would be PHKO :stuck_out_tongue: .


#10

SHIT!
:slight_smile:


#11

Nit picking? On FlightAware? Surely you jest! (No Airplane! jokes unless you know how to turn on the autopilot.)


#12

Don’t call me Shirley!

And that’s “Otto Pilot”.


#13

In Hawaii ( and this may be true in Alaska, also) each airport, in reality, has two airport codes. One is international, and one is domestic.

If you want to fly inside the Honolulu Center Airspace, the standard basic three letter identifiers from the FAA’s Location Identifier Handbook are ok. A flight plan from KOA to HNL would be routine.

But if you want to leave Kona and head to Los Angeles International, then the ICAO flight plan form precedence would take over. You would be leaving PHKO heading to KLAX.


#14

Wrong-o. Or, at least only partially correct. In reality, every USA airport that has a three letter code actually has both a domestic (FAA/IATA) and an international (ICAO) codes. It’s just that the international codes in the contiguous* states differ from their domestic counterparts by the addition of the letter “K” while those in Alaska and Hawaii all begin with “PA” and “PH” respectively and then contain the last two letters of their domestic counterparts.

*The contiguous states are the 48 states located between Canada and Mexico. This is NOT the same as the continental USA which, in addition to the contiguous states, contains the state of Alaska.


#15

You just restated what I said. Thank you.


#16

I did not. What you said was

In Hawaii ( and this may be true in Alaska, also) each airport, in reality, has two airport codes. One is international, and one is domestic.

You are implying here that only the state of Hawaii and possibly Alaska, have two airport codes for their airports.
Further on you say

But if you want to leave Kona and head to Los Angeles International, then the ICAO flight plan form precedence would take over. You would be leaving PHKO heading to KLAX.

By stating that Hawaii and possibly Alaska really have two airport codes, you are implying here that KLAX and LAX are the same airport code while in reality there are two different codes for the same airport, just like Hawaii and Alaska. They are different codes because one is based on the FAA system (LAX) and one is based on the ICAO system (KLAX).

So, what I said was true: every airport with a three letter code in the USA has two entirely separate codes. It’s only that the ICAO codes within the contiguous states look like their FAA counterparts with the addition of a leading “K”.


#17

and you are still an asshole


#18

Why, thank you very much! I try so hard and it’s nice to know that people recognize my assholeness.


#19

I find it a welcome relief to have a discussion with an asshole who is right, not just one who THINKS they’re right.


#20

I believe that Jimmy Buffett sang a song about this subject…

I think it goes something like this:
"Well I was drivin’ down I-95 the other night.
Somebody
nearly cut me right off the road.
I decided it wasn’t gonna do any good to get mad.
So I wrote a song about himinstead.
It goes like this…
Were you born an asshole?
Or did you work at it your whole life?
Either way it worked out fine’cause you’re an asshole
tonight.
Yes you’re an A S S H O L E…And don’t you try to blame it on me.
You deserve all the credit.
You’re an asshole tonight.
You were an asshole yesterday.
You’re an asshole tonight.
And I’ve got a feelin’you’ll be an
asshole the rest of your life.
And I was talkin’ to your mother just the other night.
I told her I thought you were an asshole.
She said, "Yes. I think you’re right.“
And all your friends are assholes’cause you’ve known them your whole
life.
And somebody told me you’ve got an asshole for a wife.
Were you born an asshole?
Or did you work at it your whole life?
Either way it worked out fine’cause you’re an aaaass…hole tonight.”

Mad props have to be given to Jimmy Buffett for writing this song and www.seeklyrics.com for making it hella easy for me to put this in.