Airport trivia - an HF quiz

Airport departure board
We all recognise the codes LHR and LGW and know we'll be flying in to Heathrow or Gatwick but not all airport codes are made up of the first three letters of the airport name or are a neat acronym of it. Some combinations might raise an eyebrow, or be unintentionally amusing. So if you think you know your DAD (Da Nang, Vietnam) from your SON (Luganville, Vanuatu), or your BOO (Bodo, Norway) from your UMM (Summit, Alaska), even your ARS (Aragarcas, Brazil) from your LBW (Long Bawan, Indonesia), take our airport quiz full of surprising tidbits and find out a bit more about airports and the world of air travel. It's just-for-fun, so score yourself and see what sort of travel buff you are...
Question 1
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What was the busiest airport in the world in 2019?

A) Beijing
B) London Heathrow
C) Atlanta
D) Dubai

Click for Answer 1

C) Atlanta

Acting as the primary international airport serving Atlanta, Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the busiest airport in the world by passenger numbers and second busiest by aircraft movements. Heathrow popped up at number 7 in the list.

Question 2
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How many international airports does London have?

A) 4
B) 5
C) 6
D) 7

Click for Answer 2

C) 6

London, the largest aviation hub in the world. The international airports are London City, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, London Luton, London Stansted and London Southend.

Question 3
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Which of these countries has no airport?

A) Andorra
B) San Marino
C) Liechtenstein
D) All of them

Click for Answer 3

D) All of them

In each case, there's simply no room for airports in these tiny states.

Question 4
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Which country is the only one with an airport featuring a beach runway with regular scheduled traffic ?

A) Bahamas
B) Jamaica
C) Scotland
D) Tanzania

Click for Answer 4

C) Scotland

Barra Airport (BRR) in the Outer Hebrides is unique for having a runway on a tidal beach and yes, flights are affected by high tides

Question 5
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Which airport has a runway intersecting with a major highway?

A) Gibraltar
B) Barcelona
C) Monaco
D) Menorca

Click for Answer 5

A) Gibraltar

It may be small but Gibraltar has one of the riskiest arrivals, with its runway bisected by a 4-lane highway; planes alternate with cars.

Question 6
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Rather improbably, which airport comes with a nine-hole golf course?

A) London Heathrow
B) Hong Kong
C) Phoenix, Arizona
D) Dubai

Click for Answer 6

B) Hong Kong

Hong Kong International isn't just one of the busiest airports on the planet for people and cargo; it's a giant entertainment complex as well and home to the largest IMAX screen in Hong Kong and a nine-hole golf course.

Question 7
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In which of his one-time haunts would you find John Lennon Airport?

A) Liverpool
B) Hamburg
C) New York
D) I always preferred The Stones

Click for Answer 7

A) Liverpool

Of course..Originally called Speke Airport (LPL), the airport was renamed after Liverpudlian musician John Lennon of the Beatles in 2001.

Question 8
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If you were flying out of Robin Hood Airport where would you be?

A) Doncaster
B) Nottingham
C) Birmingham
D) Manchester

Click for Answer 8

A) Doncaster

The local airport was renamed Robin Hood Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA), much to the bafflement of the people 41 miles away in Nottingham, which is more commonly associated with the outlaw, although he is reputed to have lived some of his life around the Doncaster area.

Question 9
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Which famously musical American city is home to Louis Armstrong Airport'?

A) Seattle
B) Minneapolis
C) Nashville
D) New Orleans

Click for Answer 9

D) New Orleans

Now named for the famous jazz master, the airport retains the code MSY, as it was originally named after daredevil aviator John Moisant and derived from Moisant Stock Yards.

Question 10
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Airports are full of nervous flyers but which of these airport codes is made up?


Click for Answer 10


All the others are real, for Eek Airport, Alaska, Omega Airport, Namibia and Wales Airport, Alaska respectively.

Question 11
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Which animal would you associate with Frank Pais Airport in Cuba?

D) I'm alergic to animals

Click for Answer 11


Named for Holguin, where it is found. CAT is Cascais Municipal Aerodrome in Portugal, and DOG is Dongola Airport in Sudan.

Question 12
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Which airport would you be landing at if you were travelling to AGP?

A) Santiago
B) Malaga
C) Antigua
D) Tobago

Click for Answer 12

B) Malaga

Instead of using the code MAL, which translates as 'bad' in Spanish, Malaga opted to use two middle letters and add a P.

Question 13
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Several famous US cities have airports ending in 'X' but which of these is fake?

A) LAX - Los Angeles
B) PDX - Portland
C) PHX - Phoenix
D) SFX - San Francisco

Click for Answer 13


If you arrived in SFX you'd be in Venezuela... San Francisco is SFO.

Question 14
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Which airport is officially, and unfortunately, known as PEE?

A) Peenemunde, Germany
B) Perm, Russia
C) Pelican Seaplane Base, USA
D) Pelaneng, Lesotho

Click for Answer 14

B) Perm, Russia

The unfortunate code derives from an alternate spelling of the name, PErEm.

Question 15
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And while we're being puerile, which airport has the abreviation POO?

A) Podor, Senegal
B) Pontoise, France
C) Porotoroz, Slovenia
D) Pocos de Caldas, Brazil

Click for Answer 15

D) Pocos de Caldas

Looking beyond its offical abreviation, the airport in southern Brazil is named after Walter Moreira Salles, a banker and philanthropist.

Question 16
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Enough LOL. But where is this Laugh Out Loud airfield found?

A) Grand Rapids, USA
B) Derby Field, USA
C) Sioux City, USA
D) Willow, USA

Click for Answer 16

B) Derby Field, USA

Because it's based in Lovelock. The other cities have equally comical abreviations though, GRR (Grand Rapids), SUX (Sioux City) and WOW (Willow).

Question 17
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In which country would would-be superheroes find Batman Airport (BAL)?

A) Turkey
B) Germany
C) Jordan
D) Gotham

Click for Answer 17

A) Turkey

No superheroes here, just people travelling out of the Turkish city of Batman in the southeastern Anatolia region.

Question 18
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Which US naval airport was the setting for the classic film, Top Gun?


Click for Answer 18


US naval airport codes all start with the letter N but Top Gun was based on life at Naval Air Station Miramar in San Diego.

Score Yourself

So, how did you do? There are no prizes so, just for fun, score yourself...

1-3: Ah, that's not great! Brush up on your knowledge and have another go!

4 - 7: Could do better...hmmm, you've got lot's to learn about the world. Guess you should start planning a trip abroad...

8 - 11: Not bad but there's room for improvement and there are lots more places to discover so keep on exploring!

12 - 15: That's great, well done! You know lots about the world and air travel, time now to get to grips with the last few.

16 - 18: Excellent, what a result! Great knowledge, you clearly know your stuff and are an experienced world traveller