IATA Codes

An international airport has customs and border control facilities enabling passengers to travel between countries around the world. International airports are usually larger than domestic airports, and they must feature longer runways and have facilities to accommodate heavier aircraft such as the Boeing 787-8 and the Airbus A380 commonly used for international and intercontinental travel. International airports often also host domestic flights, which often help feed both passengers and cargo into international ones (and vice versa).

Toponymy is one of the most common sources for the naming of airports. Several areas close to them have lent their names, including villages, estates, city districts, historical areas and regions, islands and even a waterfall. Sometimes the toponym is combined with or renamed to incorporate another name from another source such as from one of the following:

For a full list of airport codes, we recommend you use https://www.iata.org/en/publications/directories/code-search/

This airline and airport code search engine provides an official source for codes assigned by IATA.

  • Find out the 2-letter code of an airline or identify to which airline a 2-letter code corresponds. This search tool returns 2 search results.
  • Find out the 3-letter code of an airport or identify which airport uses a particular code. You can get up to 5 search results per query.


The NATO alphabet, despite its name, is not a phonetic alphabet which uses symbols or codes to represent a speech sound or letter. It is a spelling alphabet (also called a telephone alphabet, radio alphabet or voice-procedure alphabet), which uses words/names to represent alphabetical letters. The NATO phonetic alphabet helps avoid ambiguity and makes it clear what the letters are, she says. In the mid-1950s, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) became the first group to approve and use the new alphabet, hence its name.