Some airports of big cities are, in fact, technically speaking in a "very near municipality" which is not the main city itself.

For example the airport BCN serving "Barcelona" is, in fact, placed in the city "El Prat del Llobregat" which is 15 Km south from Barcelona.

Or for example the airport CDG serving "Paris" is, in fact, at the town "Roissy" 25 Km northeast from Paris.

I "think" (but can't confirm) I have heard the term "Service City" to refer to the "main city" the airport is conceptually associated to. For example to say "CDG's service city is Paris".

I'm trying to confirm this terminology with no luck.

Can anyone confirm, if this term is correct and provide any public source defining the term? If the term is not correct, what would be the correct one?

  • 2
    “catchment area” would be a related concept that seems more common.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 10:17
  • 8
    What do you need the terms for ? The right choice of words often depends on the application and target audience.
    – Hilmar
    Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 11:10
  • 3
    "Service city" sounds weird to me. "Served city" or "City served" would probably be a bit more appropriate, though it does not quite feel very natural either. Maybe that could be more appropriate for english.stackexchange.com or ell.stackexchange.com?
    – jcaron
    Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 11:23
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    As above, I wouldn't consider this question off-topic, but you might be more likely to get an answer elsewhere. For what it's worth: it's certainly not unusual to say that (for example) BCN "serves the city of Barcelona", but "service city" - or any similar noun phrase that I can think of - doesn't sound natural to me.
    – Chris H
    Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 12:46
  • 2
    We have a site for English Language & Usage where you can ask about the user of specific words. Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 13:03

1 Answer 1


From the point of view of a US pilot, it is generally termed as the “associated city“. But this term is only a general term used in publications like the FAA UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT FLIGHT INFORMATION PUBLICATION CHART SUPPLEMENT legend. Every airport recognized by the FAA has an associated city. Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 139 (14 CFR Part 139) also uses the term associated city. Even tiny and/or private airports have an associated city. In casual conversation, the term service, services, or servicing city would be just fine. Other governments may have different terminology in their documentation of airports.


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