ICAO airport code

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Map of the world's ICAO classifications according to the first letter of its ICAO airport code
Map of countries classified with ICAO airport code prefixes and subnational regions with their respective second ICAO letter
Flag of the ICAO

The ICAO airport code or location indicator is a four-letter code designating aerodromes around the world. These codes, as defined by the International Civil Aviation Organization and published quarterly in ICAO Document 7910: Location Indicators, are used by air traffic control and airline operations such as flight planning. ICAO codes are also used to identify other aviation facilities such as weather stations, international flight service stations or area control centers, whether or not they are located at airports. Flight information regions are also identified by a unique ICAO-code.

ICAO codes versus IATA codes[edit]

ICAO codes are separate and different from IATA codes, the latter of which have three letters and are generally used for airline timetables, reservations, and baggage tags. For example, the IATA code for London's Heathrow Airport is LHR and its ICAO code is EGLL. IATA codes are commonly seen by passengers and the general public on flight-tracking services such as FlightAware.

In general IATA codes are usually derived from the name of the airport or the city it serves, while ICAO codes are distributed by region and country. Far more aerodromes (in the broad sense) have ICAO codes than IATA codes, which are sometimes assigned to railway stations as well. The selection of ICAO codes is partly delegated to authorities in each country, while IATA codes, which have no geographic structure, must be decided centrally by IATA.


The first one or two letters of the ICAO code indicate the country; the remaining letters identify the airport. ICAO codes are used partly for geographical context. For example, the ICAO code for Heathrow International Airport in London, is EGLL, with its first letters reflecting that it is based in the United Kingdom. On the other hand, IATA codes do not provide geographic reference. The LHR for Heathrow does not enable one to deduce the location of the airport LHV with any greater certainty; it is William T. Piper Memorial Airport in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania in the United States.

There are a few exceptions to the regional structure of the ICAO code that have been historically for political or administrative reasons. RAF Mount Pleasant air base in the Falkland Islands, for instance, is assigned the ICAO code EGYP as though it were in the United Kingdom, but nearby civilian Port Stanley Airport is assigned SFAL, consistent with South America. Saint Pierre and Miquelon is controlled by France, and airports there are assigned LFxx as though they were in Europe. Kosovo is assigned the code BKxx grouping it with Greenland and Iceland rather than its geographical neighbors which have Lxxx (described below). Jerusalem International Airport was assigned both LLJR (its Israeli persona) as well as OJJR (its Jordanian persona), but the airport itself fell into disuse.

In the contiguous United States and Canada, many airports have ICAO codes that are simply copies of their three-letter IATA codes, with the geographical prefix added on (e.g., YEG and CYEG both refer to Edmonton International Airport, while IAD and KIAD both refer to Washington Dulles International Airport). This similarity does not extend to Alaska (PAxx), Hawaii (PHxx), or U.S. territories. Kahului Airport on Maui, for instance, has an IATA code of OGG and an ICAO code of PHOG.

ICAO airport codes do not begin with I or J or X or Q, though the Jezero Crater on Mars is assigned the special ICAO code JZRO.[1] Codes beginning with I (Ixx and Ixxx) are often used for navigational aids such as radio beacons, while the Q code is reserved for international radiocommunications and non-geographical special use.

In Russia, Latin letter X, or its Morse/Baudot Cyrillic equivalent Ь, are used to designate government, military, and experimental aviation airfields in internal airfield codes similar in structure and purpose to ICAO codes but not used internationally.[2] ZZZZ is a pseudo-code, used in flight plans for aerodromes with no ICAO code assigned.

ICAO codes are sometimes updated. Johannesburg Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, for instance, was formerly known as Jan Smuts International Airport, with code FAJS. When the airport was renamed O. R. Tambo International Airport, its ICAO code was updated to FAOR.

Some airports have two ICAO codes, usually when an airport is shared by civilian and military users. Frankfurt Airport in Frankfurt, Germany, for instance, has been assigned ICAO code EDDF while Rhein-Main Air Base was assigned ICAO code EDAF until its closure. Sion Airport in Switzerland has code LSGS while its military facilities have the ICAO code LSMS. Brussels Airport in Brussels, Belgium, has the ICAO code EBBR for its civilian facilities, and Melsbroek Air Base has been assigned ICAO code EBMB, even though the two airports share runways and ground and air control facilities.

Pseudo ICAO-codes[edit]

In small countries like Belgium or the Netherlands, almost all aerodromes have an ICAO code. For larger countries like the UK or Germany this is not feasible, given the limited number of letter codes. Some countries have addressed this issue by introducing a scheme of sub-ICAO aerodrome codes; France, for example, assigns pseudo ICAO codes in the style LFddnn, where dd indicates the department while nn is a sequential counter. The French Federation of Ultralight Motorized Gliders was formally named the keeper of these codes. Aerodrome de Torreilles in France, for instance, has code LF6651.[3] In Antarctica many aerodromes have pseudo ICAO-codes with AT and two digits, while others have proper codes from countries performing air control such as NZ for New Zealand.


Prefix code Country
A – Western South Pacific
AG Solomon Islands
AN Nauru
AY Papua New Guinea
B – Greenland, Iceland, and Kosovo (European Alternate)
BG Greenland
BI Iceland
BK Kosovo
C – Canada
C Canada
D – Eastern parts of West Africa and Maghreb
DA Algeria
DB Benin
DF Burkina Faso
DG Ghana
DI Côte d'Ivoire
DN Nigeria
DR Niger
DT Tunisia
DX Togo
E – Northern Europe
EB Belgium
ED Germany (civil)
EE Estonia
EF Finland
EG United Kingdom (and Crown Dependencies)
EH Netherlands
EI Ireland
EK Denmark and the Faroe Islands
EL Luxembourg
EN Norway
EP Poland
ES Sweden
ET Germany (military)
EV Latvia
EY Lithuania
F – Most of Central Africa, Southern Africa, and the Indian Ocean
FA South Africa
FB Botswana
FC Republic of the Congo
FD Eswatini
FE Central African Republic
FG Equatorial Guinea
FH Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
FI Mauritius
FJ British Indian Ocean Territory
FK Cameroon
FL Zambia
FM Comoros, France (Mayotte and Réunion), and Madagascar
FN Angola
FO Gabon
FP São Tomé and Príncipe
FQ Mozambique
FS Seychelles
FT Chad
FV Zimbabwe
FW Malawi
FX Lesotho
FY Namibia
FZ Democratic Republic of the Congo
G – Western parts of West Africa and Maghreb
GA Mali
GB The Gambia
GC Spain (Canary Islands)
GE Spain (Ceuta and Melilla)
GF Sierra Leone
GG Guinea-Bissau
GL Liberia
GM Morocco
GO Senegal
GQ Mauritania
GS Western Sahara
GU Guinea
GV Cape Verde
H – East Africa and Northeast Africa
HA Ethiopia
HB Burundi
HC Somalia (including Somaliland)
HD Djibouti
HE Egypt
HH Eritrea
HJ South Sudan
HK Kenya
HL Libya
HR Rwanda
HS Sudan
HT Tanzania
HU Uganda
J – Mars
J Mars[dubious ]
K – Contiguous United States
K Contiguous United States
L – Southern Europe, Cyprus, Israel, Palestine and Turkey
LA Albania
LB Bulgaria
LC Cyprus
LD Croatia
LE Spain (mainland section and Balearic Islands)
LF France (Metropolitan France; including Saint-Pierre and Miquelon)
LG Greece
LH Hungary
LI Italy (and San Marino)
LJ Slovenia
LK Czech Republic
LL Israel
LM Malta
LN Monaco
LO Austria
LP Portugal (including the Azores and Madeira)
LQ Bosnia and Herzegovina
LR Romania
LS Switzerland and Liechtenstein
LT Turkey
LU Moldova
LV Palestine/Palestinian territories
LW North Macedonia
LX Gibraltar
LY Serbia and Montenegro
LZ Slovakia
M – Central America, Mexico and northern/western parts of the Caribbean
MB Turks and Caicos Islands
MD Dominican Republic
MG Guatemala
MH Honduras
MK Jamaica
MM Mexico
MN Nicaragua
MP Panama
MR Costa Rica
MS El Salvador
MT Haiti
MU Cuba
MW Cayman Islands
MY Bahamas
MZ Belize
N – Most of the South Pacific and New Zealand
NC Cook Islands
NF Fiji, Tonga
NG Kiribati (Gilbert Islands), Tuvalu
NI Niue
NL France (Wallis and Futuna)
NS Samoa, United States (American Samoa)
NT France (French Polynesia)
NV Vanuatu
NW France (New Caledonia)
NZ New Zealand, parts of Antarctica
O – Southwest Asia, including Gulf States, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan
OA Afghanistan
OB Bahrain
OE Saudi Arabia
OI Iran
OJ Jordan and the West Bank
OK Kuwait
OL Lebanon
OM United Arab Emirates
OO Oman
OP Pakistan
OR Iraq
OS Syria
OT Qatar
OY Yemen
P – most of the North Pacific, and Kiribati
PA US (Alaska) (also PF, PO and PP)
PB US (Baker Island)
PC Kiribati (Canton Airfield, Phoenix Islands)
PF US (Alaska) (also PA, PO and PP)
PG US (Guam, Northern Mariana Islands)
PH US (Hawaii)
PJ US (Johnston Atoll)
PK Marshall Islands
PL Kiribati (Line Islands)
PM US (Midway Island)
PO US (Alaska) (also PA, PF and PP)
PP US (Alaska) (also PA, PF and PO)
PT Federated States of Micronesia, Palau
PW US (Wake Island)
R – Japan, S. Korea, Philippines
RC Republic of China (Taiwan)
RJ Japan (Mainland)
RK South Korea (Republic of Korea)
RO Japan (Okinawa)
RP Philippines
S – South America
SA Argentina (including parts of Antarctica)
SB Brazil (also SD, SI, SJ, SN, SS and SW)
SC Chile (including Easter Island and parts of Antarctica) (also SH)
SD Brazil (also SB, SI, SJ, SN, SS and SW)
SE Ecuador
SF Falkland Islands
SG Paraguay
SH Chile (also SC)
SI Brazil (also SB, SD, SJ, SN, SS and SW)
SJ Brazil (also SB, SD, SI, SN, SS and SW)
SK Colombia
SL Bolivia
SM Suriname
SN Brazil (also SB, SD, SI, SJ, SS and SW)
SO France (French Guiana)
SP Peru
SS Brazil (also SB, SD, SI, SJ, SN and SW)
SU Uruguay
SV Venezuela
SW Brazil (also SB, SD, SI, SJ, SN and SS)
SY Guyana
T – Eastern and southern parts of the Caribbean
TA Antigua and Barbuda
TB Barbados
TD Dominica
TF France (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin)
TG Grenada
TI US (U.S. Virgin Islands)
TJ US (Puerto Rico)
TK Saint Kitts and Nevis
TL Saint Lucia
TN Caribbean Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten
TQ Anguilla
TR Montserrat
TT Trinidad and Tobago
TU British Virgin Islands
TV Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
TX Bermuda
U – Most former Soviet countries
U Russia (except as below)
UA Kazakhstan
UB Azerbaijan
UC Kyrgyzstan
UD Armenia
UG Georgia
UK Ukraine
UM Belarus and Russia (Kaliningrad Oblast)
UT Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
V – Many South Asian countries, mainland Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Macau
VA India (West India)
VC Sri Lanka
VD Cambodia
VE India (East India)
VG Bangladesh
VH Hong Kong
VI India (North India)
VL Laos
VM Macau
VN Nepal
VO India (South India)
VQ Bhutan
VR Maldives
VT Thailand
VV Vietnam
VY Myanmar
W – Most of Maritime Southeast Asia
WA Indonesia (also WI, WQ and WR)
WB Brunei, Malaysia (East Malaysia)
WI Indonesia (also WA, WQ and WR)
WM Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia)
WP Timor-Leste
WQ Indonesia (also WA, WI and WR)
WR Indonesia (also WA, WI and WQ)
WS Singapore
Y – Australia
Y Australia (including Norfolk Island, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Australian Antarctic Territory)
Z – China, North Korea and Mongolia
Z Mainland China (except ZK and ZM)
ZK North Korea
ZM Mongolia

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Succeeds in Historic First Flight". NASA. April 19, 2021. Retrieved May 16, 2024.
  2. ^ Index of four-character airfield codes in Russia
  3. ^ "Accueil". basulm.ffplum.info.

External links[edit]