So, Where Does That Airport Code Come From?

So, Where Does That Airport Code Come From?

Donetsk Airport, February 2005

Donetsk Airport (DOK), February 2005

Ever wonder why LA’s airport three-letter code is LAX? And Chicago O’Hare is ORD? Why Newark is EWR, Toronto is YYZ and Quito UIO?

Designers Lynn Fisher and Nick Crohn were curious too, so they collected some of the answers and found a home for them on their website At the moment they’ve listed 261 airports from 77 countries. Readers are welcome to contribute more.

So, what’s up with LAX? A simple explanation.

Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles
Before the 1930s, airports had two-letter codes. When codes switched to three letters, many added the letter X to the end. LA (Los Angeles) became LAX. (See also: PDX.)

And Quito?

Mariscal Sucre International Airport, Quito, Ecuador
Mariscal Sucre International is named after Antonio José de Sucre, who fought for the independence of Quito, in what is now Ecuador. Because the Federal Communications Commission reserved codes starting with Q, it opted for other letters from its home city of QUItO.

Via Slate via Laughing Squid.


tv screen 2, Qatar Airways

In-Flight Entertainment, Cleveland To Doha

In various forms.

Fifteen images snapped between bouts of reading, snoozing, transiting and dining. Total travel time: 17hrs 30min, too long to not make a few photos. Enjoy!

Cleveland Hopkins Airport, 97-Jan-2015

Cleveland Hopkins Airport, 97-Jan-2015

Plane de-icing, Cleveland
De-icing in Cleveland

Michael Jordan Bench, Chicago O'Hare, Jan 2015

Michael Jordan Bench, Chicago O’Hare, Jan 2015

Jazz Playlist, Qatar Airways
Dinner, Qatar Airways
Conveniences, Qatar Airways

Southeastern Greek coast 1

Coast of Southeastern Greece

Southeastern Greek coast 2

The lead photo, which serves as the 362nd straight Pic du Jour, was snapped on 07/08 Jan 2015.


Plane de-icing, Cleveland

Plane De-icing, Up Close

I shot this from my window seat yesterday afternoon at a de-icing station at Cleveland Hopkins Airport. I felt like we were already in the clouds. It was even colder and icier in Chicago a couple hours later where the mercury dipped to 0 F, or -18 C.

Fresh off a 13-hour flight, I arrived in Doha today late afternoon local time, where the closest conditions get to this are either at the Qatari capital’s indoor skiing hill or mall skating rinks. I don’t plan to visit either.

For the record, today’s Pic du Jour is the 360th straight.

Donetsk Airport, February 2005

Donetsk Airport Revisited

[Updated 29-May-2014]

Heavy shooting and a bomb blast rocked the international airport in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk this morning after it was seized by heavily-armed pro-Russian separatist rebels. Gunmen from the self-proclaimed ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ arrived at the airport shortly after Petro Poroshenko claimed victory in a presidential election that separatists have dismissed.

Today’s reports of smoke and blasts seem a world away from the quiet scenes I snapped at the airport during a brief visit in February 2005.

[NOTE: CNN has reported on 29 May that a separatist spokesman has confirmed that 33 Russian citizens were among those killed when Ukrainian forces waged a counter-offensive to retake the airport, undermining the claim that the uprising is largely homegrown.]

That was just a couple months after newly-elected President Victor Yushchenko made international headlines when his face began peeling off after he ate soup spiked with TCDD, the most potent dioxin in Agent Orange. Like that failed assassination attempt, the facility seemed to still be very much a remnant of the Soviet era, from drop-off to check-in to the chilly stroll across the tarmac to the plane.

Continue reading…

Final approach to Ushuaia

Ushuaia: The Final Approach to the End of the World

If you were looking for some quick video footage illustrating what it’s like to land at the end of the world, you’re welcome. :)

Ushuaia, Argentina, in Tierra del Fuego, is at 54°48′S latitude the southernmost city in the world. Nestled between the Beagle Channel to the south and the Andes’ Martial range to the north, it’s also a beautiful place to land. Enjoy.

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I was playing with the low light photo settings on my video camera earlier this evening, mainly to see if I could get a somewhat adequate shot of the brilliantly colored rings around the moon. All those attempts failed miserably but I did like this shot when an airplane decided to whiz by.



Ljubljana, 10-Oct-2011

Following the Grimsvotn ash cloud

I have quite a few flights scheduled over the next 10 days so am trying to watch the Grimsvotn ash cloud closely.

Eurocontrol, the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, is doing a pretty good job with updates via twitter. Check it out.

500 flights have been cancelled today, primarily in UK and northern Germany. To give that number some context, about 29,000 flights operate in Europe on an average day.

The Haunting by Robert Longo, originally uploaded by pirano.