Which similar (IATA) named airports are furthest apart, geographically? (bonus points if they're different countries/continents/separated by ocean/speak different languages)

By similar I mean either: a) change one letter (LHP-LHR), or b) switch two adjacent letters, or c) otherwise where one name might tend to be confused for another city (examples below).

Some examples:

  • BEI is Beica, Ethiopia not Beijing, China (PEK)
  • COP is not Copenhagen (CPH), but Cooperstown-Westville Airport, NY, US ; and neither is KPH (Pauloff Harbor Seaplane Base, Sanak Island, Alaska, US)
  • JOH is Port Saint Johns, South Africa, not Johannesburg (JNB)
  • SIN is Singapore not Las Vegas (LAS)
  • SEN is London Southend Airport, UK not Senegal
  • STP is St. Paul Downtown Airport (Holman Field), Minnesota, US not St Petersburg, Russia (LED) which is also not the other St Petersburg (PIE)
  • SUN is ironically in Hailey, Idaho, US, not anywhere sunny. Equally ironically, DRK is Drake Bay, Costa Rica
  • TOR is Torrington, Wyoming, US not Toronto, Canada (YYZ) or the other nine
  • GAT is not London Gatwick (LGW) but Tallard Airport, Gap, France
  • LHR (London Heathrow) - LHP (Lehu, Papua New Guinea)
  • ROM (Rome) - ROP (Rota Island, Northern Mariana Islands)
  • MAD (Madrid) - MAE (Madera Municipal Airport, California, US)
  • Delta Municipal Airport (DTA) is in Utah, nowhere near Delta's hub of ATL
  • At least USA (Concord, North Carolina, US) is in the USA. But CHN is in Korea. Whereas KOR is in Papua New Guinea.

Serious motivations:

  1. This is a thought of mine, ever since I had to rebook and jump on a flight to San Jose SJC in a hurry, I was not 100% familiar with US airport codes, my employer required us to make all bookings through a not-so-reliable internet-based travel agent and wondered as I woke up just before landing whether might have actually sent me to SJO Costa Rica (/SJE/...)
  2. @nemirni below cites a newspaper report about two German tourists ending up in Rijeka,Croatia (RJK) instead of Reykjavik, Iceland(RYK) as intended due to wrong booking.
  3. Several years ago, Hotwire and Orbitz used to sell some truly insane 36+hour international itineraries (through third and fourth countries) in response to legitimate inquiries like "SFO-LHR" or "SFO-DUB"; a flight which should typically take 14.5 hours (nonstop) or 18 hours (with one connection). I saw some bizarre routings through obscure minor Canadian and US airports (which could require Canadian visa); also some European countries.
  • 4
    Why in the world should SIN be Las Vegas? I'd say SIN for Singapore is a very straightforward mapping. Aug 24, 2015 at 8:40
  • 2
    Ok, I see that's one of the nicknames listed in the WP article. I suspect that connection between the three letters "SIN" and the city of Las Vegas is rather obscure outside of the US, or at least outside of the English lingual sphere. Aug 24, 2015 at 8:47
  • 3
    "Now you've lost me: why should Cologne/Bonn airport be called ELF?" - Read this article :) To Germans, it's a rather obvious connection, just like "sin" or "bet" may be an obvious reference to Las Vegas for Americans. I just listed it to support my claim that when including local nicknames, the possible answers are endless and hardly verifiable, unless we actually compile a list of all city nicknames from all languages and then find the pair of possibly misleading codes that are farthest apart. Aug 24, 2015 at 9:05
  • 4
    I'm voting to close this question because it's not about a real issue someone faces and ventures too far in trivia territory.
    – Relaxed
    Aug 24, 2015 at 9:13
  • 4
    I remember a newspaper article from few years back telling a story about two german tourist ending up in Rijeka,Croatia (RJK) instead of Reykjavik, Iceland(RYK) as intended due to wrong booking.
    – Nemirni
    Aug 24, 2015 at 9:17

1 Answer 1


NAU : napuka island - NAV : Kapadokya (Turkey)

Nas Glenview - NBU
Cana Brava - Brazil -NBV

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