5 Replies Latest reply on Oct 18, 2020 2:28 PM by George Carpenito

    Seeking a list of 2-letter US Airport codes


      I am looking for specific airport codes used in the 1930s-1940s. These were TWO LETTERS and were used prior to the newer 3-4 letter IATC codes used today.

        • Re: Seeking a list of 2-letter US Airport codes
          Grace Yuhasz Adventurer

          Interesting question.


          Different websites mention the 2-letter system was originally from the National Weather Service but I didn’t find one with a link to a list.  If NARA can’t help, you could try contacting the NWS.


          I did find a discussion that included some of the codes.


          • Re: Seeking a list of 2-letter US Airport codes
            George Carpenito Newbie

            Your search intrigued me, as I am a historic locations buff...

            I did a search related to historic NWS location codes. While I wasn’t able to come up with specific codes I did come up with something that may help you with your search. It is a “Brief History of National Weather Service Offices Past and Present”


            It mentions the interaction of the NWS and the airports. Some of the locations mentioned may make sense in relation to the two letter codes. Also, many airports have changed names over the years but retained the previous airport codes. While this is not directly relevant, you might want to consider ”old” airport names or “old” locations for the codes. Just because an airport is currently in, say, L.A., back in the ‘30’s & 40’s they probably were in small towns that were gobbled up by the city. Good luck on your quest.


            George C.

            • Re: Seeking a list of 2-letter US Airport codes
              Rebecca Collier Ranger

              Dear Mr. Martin,


              Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


              Pilots in the United States used the two-letter code from the Weather Bureau for identifying cities. We searched the National Archives Catalog and located a series titled Circular N and Other Technical Publications, 1912 - 1969 in the Records of the Weather Bureau (Record Group 27) that consists of  "Instructions for Airway Observers" for 1928 & 1932, "Instructions for Airway Meteorological Service" for 1935-1941, "Manual of Surface Observations", miscellaneous technical manuals and instructions, and meteorological tables. Any of these may include the early city codes you seek. For access to these records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov.


              Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


              We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!

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              • Re: Seeking a list of 2-letter US Airport codes

                I want to thank those responders who provided some sources. As it turns out, I was able to find a list that covers MOST of what I need. (I've attached it here.) It is from the "Army Air Forces Radio Facility Charts." Which leads me to the remaining question related to this: Can anyone identify the two-letter airport codes of EQ, BY or ON (not listed unfortunately), and in a related question, would anyone recognize any of these WWII airfields (probably in or near California and most likely no longer in use): "Powe," "Rehder." or "Falli?"  I really appreciate your response to me initial inquiry and hope that the attached image may be useful to some of you.A list of two-letter airport codes.