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As most of Travel-SE regulars already know, we use IATA codes for airport tags.

Such codes are often quite uninformative which airport they refer to if their tag wiki is empty, and it's not clear if the three-letter combination actually represents an airport, is unrelated acronym or just a proper name.

I've previously used some sort of personal template for such tags, and I think we can try and standardize on one. I've added the one I typically use as an answer. The related tags part is particularly helpful to find questions for related airports.

See for an example of a bare-bones tag wiki following this template.


Comments and suggestions concerning the above template welcome. Please don't add new answers unless you feel the template needs substantial revision, but do comment on the question or on the template below in the answer area.

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Tag excerpt

[airport-name] (IATA: [IATA-code]), serving [geographical-area], [country].

Tag wiki

[Description]

Links:

  • Official website
  • Wikipedia page
  • [optional-links]

Related tags: [related-tags]


  • [airport-name]: The full name (or a reasonably abbreviated version) of the airport in English. Name in local language can be supplied optionally.
  • [IATA-code]: The three-letter IATA code, which is the same as the tag name.
  • [geographical-area]: Could be city, geographic region or administrative unit, whichever is appropriate. Wikipedia usually has a good description of it.
  • [country]: mostly obligatory, but can be omitted if the destination is very well-known.
  • [Description]: Free-form information. Short or Longer description of the airport location and purpose.
  • [optional-links]: Other related links, if necessary. Wikipedia link and official website should be mandatory (if existing).
  • [related-tags]: Tags for other airports serving the same, or approximately the same geographical area. Tags for cities served by the airport. Tags for airlines using the airport as a main hub.
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it's not clear if the three-letter combination actually represents an airport, is unrelated acronym or just a proper name

The best way to solve this is not to populate the tag wiki. Populating the tag wiki is a always good idea, but we should clarify the tags in another way as well.

Using abbreviations in tags is never a good idea unless the object is better known through its abbreviation, or at least as well known (for example, isn't bad as a tag because the “Yew Ess of Ay” is well-known). Instead of using three-letter codes for airports, we should use names that contain the name of the city. conveys a lot more information at first glance — it's immediately obvious that it's something related to New York.

Using the name of the city in the tag also has the advantage of discoverability. If I don't remember the name of Paris's airports, I'm not going to come up with their tags. If the tags were and , I could type paris in the tag editor and select one of the offered completions.

A third reason to prefer more explicit names is that airport codes are somewhat jargony. This is a site for all travelers, habitual and occasional. Airport codes have their place on a site for travel agents, but J. Random traveler in the US probably only knows a handful, and J. Random traveler elsewhere in the world might not even know that these standard 3-letter abbreviations exist.

(Yes, I've said that before. It's still true now.)

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    Still, there are possibilities for ambiguity. For example, how do you name the tag for Newark airport? newark-ewr, new-york-ewr and new-jersey-ewr are all possible. At any rate, the airport tag name convention, whether good or bad (I am myself partial to a naming scheme similar to what you suggest), has been established since the very beginning of Travel-SE, and changing all airport names will be a major undertaking. – mindcorrosive May 22 '14 at 20:03
  • You are welcome, indeed encouraged, to suggest re-examination of the naming policy on meta, and if there's enough community support for it, we can figure out a way to rename all tags with minimum disturbance. – mindcorrosive May 22 '14 at 20:07
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    @mindcorrosive If there are really several possibilities that make sense, we can use synonyms. I expect this to be about as rare as the airports that can't be tagged with the current scheme, such as batumi-bus and concord-usa. – Gilles May 22 '14 at 20:08
  • @mindcorrosive Moderators can rename tags. It takes less than a minute per tag, including copying over the tag wiki (all you lose is the tag wiki history). – Gilles May 22 '14 at 20:09
  • true, but I'd rather have some discussion about this change first, as it is quite significant. I just saw that you've proposed this long time ago, and it had a substantial support as well. – mindcorrosive May 22 '14 at 20:14
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