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Why is Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport's IATA code CVG?

Cincinnati's airport has the code "CVG" but the airport is not located in Cincinnati, and the code has nothing to do with Northern Kentucky, so why does it have the code? The code is for Covington, which the airport is located near. ( More...

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bbabis 9
Growing up and getting all my ratings at "Sunken Lunken" I thought everybody knew that.😁
sparkie624 6
LOL... I have visited CVG 2 times and passed through the city a few times... Must be known to locals, but not many others!
Ginger H. 7
Thanks for the article and all the comments! I love reading about the history of airports and how they received their respective IATA codes. Lunken Field, LUK (now Cincinnati Municipal Airport) was the main airport for the Cincinnati area until 1947-ish. While Cincinnati struggled with flood free lands to expand, politics and residents not wanting an airport near them, Boone and other county officials in Kentucky petitioned Congress and received federal monies to build the now known Greater Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport, CVG. It started with 4 runways. According to reports the airport was in an unincorporated area with Covington being the closest. Now many say it's closest to Hebron. I remember when the area was open fields! The major expansion took place in 1980's. I also remember CMH (named from Columbus Municipal Hanger), John Glen International Airport vied to obtain the "Delta" hub. It ended up in CVG, but Columbus did get quite a large Delta business increase. A few years ago before COVID, I flew a direct flight on Delta CVG to AUS (it was only direct at the time in my area). CVG is a beautiful airport and I felt the parking was great considering other airports. The only downside is the traffic. I also remember LCK (formerly Lockbourne Army Airfield), then Rickenbacker International Airport. It too has an interesting history. One thing is certain, these airports sure have changed quite a lot since I was a kid! Still changing too, like taking a crop dusting airport field and turning it into the busiest airport in the world - ATL. Amazing!
sparkie624 6
Very interesting story... Thanks for Sharing it... Good info, Having worked the airline industry and private flying myself, I had always wondered that.
Fredric Price 6
Could it be for Covington, Kentucky?
rob strong 5
Yes that's exactly what it stands for.
bob franke 4
The airport is owned by the Kenton County Airport Authority, but physically located in Boone County. So there are are all sorts of ways to confuse folks.
Robert Dickey 4
Growing up in No Ky and being an airport brat, my father was General Manager there in the 60's and 70", I must agree with bbabis, I thought everybody knew that HAHAHA. Always get a kick out of the "newbies" who say "what am I doing in Kentucky" ? Hard to believe somebody from Lexington, which is just 70 mi south, didn't know this.
Ray Zimmermann 3
According to the website, The Northwest Florida airport in Panama City is "ECP" because originally the airport wanted the three-letter code TFB for “The Florida Beaches”, but it was already taken. When going through a list of available codes, the selection group joked ECP could stand for “Everyone Can Party” and it stuck.
rob strong 3
Next up: MSY, MCO, MCI, BWI, SDF, and RSW.
Peter Fuller 2
Adding to Rob’s next up list: GEG, PHF, TRI, IPT, MDT and OGG (PHOG)
ken young 2
AVP ( Wilkes-Barre Scranton PA.....AVP...The airport is located in Avoca, PA
Knoxville, TN ( TYS) is named McGhee-Tyson Airport
As to my favorite funny IACO codes....Newport RI...( UUU) Sioux City, IA (SUX)
Other noted airport codes..Kansas City, MO....Named for the former MId-Continent Airlines which was purchased by Braniff.

David Grimm 1
Also have to add ACK, ORH and ASH.
ken young 3
Because the airport is located in the municipality of Covington, KY
Gary McCormick 2
Worked there in 1960-61 for AA. Pre-jet eras with having Electra's, DC-7's, Dc6's, Convair 240's and a daily DC-6 freighter.
Paul Ipolito 3
I remember my first trip to CVG for a meeting in Cincinnati, grabbing my rental car and seeing the first "Welcome to Kentucky"road sign and thinking "Uh-Oh".This was 20 years before cell phones and nav systems.
Bill Brehm 2
Tokyo - NRT, Seoul - ICN, Chicago - ORD to name a few others.
idgie57 7
O'Hare was originally named Orchard Field, after the German farming community that was once located there, hence ORD. (The only reason why I know this is because I grew up in the Chicago area.)
Vaughn Cordero 4
Tokyo and Seoul’s major airports are Narita and Incheon, respectively. Hardly any more surprising than JFK not being NYC.
Tangentially: today I learned JFK’s original name ‘Idlewild’ (ILD) was taken from the golf course it replaced.
D Chambers 4
That was IDL (Idlewild). Not ILD. I still call it Idlewild, but most of us old-timers are rapidly dying off.
Chris Bryant 2
The fun part is, the airport is in Hebron, KY, not Covington.

My two favorites that not a lot of people know the origin story for are MCO and LCK.
Back in the airline Stewardess School for American Airlines we had to learn ALL the names, city codes, and reasons for the names...probably the best collection of trivia. I still remember a lot of the city codes and reasons even after 50 years.
Ginger H. 1
That's impressive! I'm curious, what airport you remember has changed the most for the good and and for the worse?
Nick Carlson 6
Of course, I know MCO, having been stationed there with KC135's in the early 60's...McCoy AFB. LCK stands for Rickenbacker International Airport, formerly Lockbourne AFB. Stationed there also when preparing to go to Vietnam in '69 in AC119K gunships.
Chris Bryant 5
Aw, Nick. That's no fair, being former USAF. :)
Thanks for your service!
ken young 1
The airport may have a mailing address of Covington
Depends on which end of the airport. If I remember correctly, the passenger terminal is Covington and the southeast end where DHL is is Hebron.
Robert Dickey 1
Definitely not true, Covington is miles away
Gary McCormick 1
Web search shows Hebron KY 41048
I so remember landing at CVG and the arrival PA we gave was "Welcome to the Greater Cincinnati Airport at Covington, KY." I also remember the landing was difficult. AA lost an aircraft there in the 1960s.
steve dinnen 1
Part of the runway at Geneva - GVA - is in France, part in Switzerland. Whew, both are Schengen! no passport control.
James Millard 1
CVG stands for the nearest Northern Kentucky city at the time the airport was establised: Covington.
Carroll Cathy 1
And of course, other strange identifiers will be mentioned. My fave is MCO - Orlando I was an Air Force Base - McCoy. After it was civilianized, it was McCoy Jetport.
And who could forget BJC - Rocky Mountain Regional near Denver. It is if course, Broomfield/Jefferson County!
steve dinnen 1
And then we have ORD, which comes from Old Orchard because they paved over an orchard to build O'Hare (so named after local WWII airman Butch O'Hare.
David Larkin 1
Not quite. ORD = Orchard Field, the original name of the first airport on that site.
D Chambers 1
My fave is FAT, Fresno Air Terminal. Lived there 2 yrs as a kid. Took my first flight, 10 yrs old, on some Convair thing, United.
steve dinnen 1
Another reader also likes SUX - Sioux City.
Ed Becker 1
I lived in Mack, OH as a little kid. Final approach went right past the house. All kinds of good stuff flew by back in the day. Connies, 880/990s, 707s DC-4/6/7s etc. One of my first flights out of there was an AA Electra to New York.
lfilipov747 1
Interesting. I always wondered why my old regional airport in St. Catharines/Niagara was CYSN and YCM. Why not YSN? Nobody I've asked, knows.
Highflyer1950 1
CYSN is the ICAO code. YCM is the IATA code. SN is the NDB id. I believe the Y stood for weather reporting station but don’t quote me😁
M.F. LaBoo 1
This one is always good for some headscratching: Hilo Airport, HI = ITO. ;-)
idgie57 2
See .
masonite 1
Definitely bookmarking that!
masonite 1
“One theory about ITO says it was named after an early station manager, Mr. Ito. Though with HIL and ILO already taken, Hilo International likely took its three-letter code from the nickname HIlo TOwn.“
steve dinnen 1
I'm drifting here, but lore has it that Norman, Okla., is so named because of the railroad station manager there. When they sent box cars to that little siding south of Oklahoma City they chalked "To Norman" on the side of the car.
Bill Butler 1
Isn't ITO the old name for Tokyo? Even if that's right, it doesn't make any more sense!
Stef Lar 1
Old name for Tokyo was Edo, not Ito, and it was changed in 1868, well before the Wright brothers’ first flight (before Orville was born, in fact).
steve dinnen 0
Ito gave way to Tokyo around time Wright brothers first took to flight.
Bill Butler 1
Thanks. I knew it was old, but.....
Fred Rosa -1
This is news? These haven't changed since tail dragging days for the most part. And Denver is NOT DIA; it has always been DEN.
Jim Slater 2
The original plan was to tag the new Denver airport DVX but there were a lot of objections. The fact that they shut down old Stapleton a few hours before opening DIA probably made it possible to keep the same code.


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