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May 2016
 

The Bellinghman
Date: 2007-01-29 13:27
Subject: Caught from the corner
Security: Public
Hmm, why is that CH-47 Chinook banking round the sorting office like that? More to the point, couldn't it fly a little higher? It's not like the 737s descending into EGSS or EGGW are that low, so surely it could fly a little above 50' altitude?

Ah well, never mind.

(And why is EGGW the code for Luton, not for Gatwick?)
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2007-01-29 14:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Indeed.

This case would appear to be anti-mnemonic, though, given that once the EG country code has been used, the remaining two letters are 'GW'.

Looking at the list, though, adjacent codes seem to be given to geographically adjacent airfields, so all the EGP airfields are Scottish ones. Amusing, then, that Stansted actually gets the SS subcode.
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Ross: flying
User: crazyscot
Date: 2007-01-29 14:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:flying
Indeed, they're not. The four-letter ICAO station codes are used, amongst other purposes, as part of addresses on the AFTN (Aeronautical Fixed Telecomms Network) which is essentially a private telex service for exchanging flight plan and other data.

Historically - presumably related to the provisioning of the network - principal stations shared the third character with their subordinates. While this is no longer a rule there its effects can still be seen - for example, Heathrow is EGLL, Blackbushe EGLK; Stansted EGSS, Cambridge EGSC; all Scottish non-military stations are EGPx or EGEx.

Code allocation seems to have been vaguely mnemonic at times (EGLL for London [heathrow]; EGKK = gatwicK; EGBB = Birmingham; EGFF = cardiFF) but was not always possible (EGCC = Manchester).

New airfields, at least in the UK, can opt to choose their own identifier, such as Little Gransden - owned by one M. Jeffries - which became EGMJ.
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2007-01-29 14:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Ah, thanks.

(I now have this imaginary story going round my head, in which Luton grabbed EGGW in order to sucker some of Gatwick's traffic its way.)
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2007-01-29 15:06 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
There's an implication there that primary airports also attempt to go for a doubled final letter - e.g the EGSS, EGFF, EGKK, EGLL and EGCC codes. Is this so, because the double letters do appear to be avoided by lesser airports.

(With the possible exception of EGHH - Bournemouth, but that could be an hub for all I know.)
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Ross
User: crazyscot
Date: 2007-01-29 15:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Main stations (those with double letters) aren't automatically hub airports, in the same way that hubs aren't automatically main stations (consider Glasgow EGPF) - though there is a strong correlation.

There's certainly an argument that EGHH is important enough to be a main station - it's quite busy these days.
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