First letter of ICAO preferred?

Hey everyone. When browsing the forum, I’ve found it annoying when people don’t use the first letter of the ICAO. (example KDEN, DEN) I simply don’t know where the airport is (if I don’t already know it) and I find it very annoying. What do you guys think? Do you prefer the use of the country signifier?

  • I find it very annoying when people do not use the country signifier
  • I have no opinion
  • I like it when people do not use the country signifier

0 voters

Should people that don’t use it use it more?

(Not sure if this belongs in #real-world-aviation, so I’ll leave it here)



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Does not using the country signifier make you think of VORs? To me, it kinda does. XD

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DEN would be the IATA of Denver International, just like MIA is IATA for Miami, LHR for London Heathrow, etc… Using IATA or ICAO are both proper.


Still means the same thing, they take out the country identifier and just leave the rest of the ICAO identifier on tags for baggage.

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I feel I need it, if I want to fly to it in IF I can’t really search for DEN and it’ll come up straight away.

So yeah I prefer it like KDEN


Yup. This is my opinion as well. Well said 305 😉👌


When people call airports like KDEN nicknames like DIA, that really annoys me.


Now that is annoying.


I like IATA’s as they give an idea of what the airport is. Sometimes ICAOs don’t help. Take RJTT for example, Tokyo Haneda.
R: Right Asia
J: Japan
TT: ???
While the IATA is HND. Works great.

Another good example is Than Son Nhất is Vietnam. ICAO, VVTS. Little sense. IATA is SGN, or Saigon. Perfect sense.

This is less of a problem in the US, like how KDEN is DEN and KSEA is SEA. But in other places around the world, it helps more.


Iconic airports such as DFW and LAX are better than “KDFW” and “KLAX”. It really depends on the airport.


Not all airports have IATA codes though. Actually a majority of airports do not have them.

I prefer the ICAO because it tells you which country/region the airport is in if you may not know otherwise.

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I agree as it is confusing for some airports.

For RWA, would ATC’s prefer the ICAO or the IATA?

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I think LHR is better than EGLL and the same for Gatwick LGW instead of EGKK, but if you removed the first letter then it’s just confusing as that’s the only names people can identify not GLL or GKK.


Only in US and Canada

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Handy map


Shameless self-promotion :)


I don’t really have an opinion, but what I don’t like, which was stated earlier, is when people make up identifiers for airports. DIA for Denver was mentioned, that gets on my nerves!

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I really hate people calling London Heathrow LHR, I hate that Google does it. People need to use ICAO and everything in it.

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I would quote this as an oppinion I see. Everyone is entitled to their oppinion and I for one do not care as the airport ICAO (KLAS) is just (LAS). Really doesn’t make a big difference except when you get confused by different ways of writing it.