why oh why?

I don’t understand why we say “LAX” when it should be “LAI” or “LAA”. I mean -- why can't we just put the real initials of the airport? I'm sure there's a very simple explanation, but I'm not sure where it is.


Julie Hibbard said...

Every airport today has a unique three-letter identifier to streamline the process of tracking the millions of items of airport data transmitted daily, including flight plans and weather reports. Before the 1930s, existing airports used a two-letter abbreviation based on the weather station at the airports. So, at that time, LA served as the designation for Los Angeles International Airport. But, with the rapid growth in the aviation industry, the designations expanded to three letters, and LA became LAX. The letter X does not otherwise have any specific meaning in this identifier.

Lorraine Jamison said...

But still - why the x? Why not put three letters that actually relate to that particular airport?

Anonymous said...

It stands for extra large (seriously)