Canada To Change Airport Codes To Begin With “B”

Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw

A major airport code initiative has been announced by the federal government.

After a six-year review conducted by a series of federal, provincial, territorial and municipal committees, task forces, commissions and panels looking into the why ‘Y’ question, the decision has been made to change all Canadian airport codes to begin with the letter B.

Here’s a summary of some of the resulting changes:


  • Canada’s largest airport, Toronto’s Pearson International, formerly known as YYZ, was set to become BYZ, until an intervention from St. John’s, which demanded a trade. “If there’s a BYZ, then we’re the BYZ,” a spokesperson said. “We’s the BYZ that built the airport and we’s the BYZ to name her. Pearson has agreed with this indisputable logic and was ready to accept BYT as its new code name.
  • Then Ottawa stepped in, demanding it be called BYT, as the headquarters for Canada’s high-tech sector. They offered to send BOW to Toronto along with two second-round draft picks and a senate seat. Toronto refused, saying that as the centre of the known universe, it would BOW to no-one. Calgary solved the problem by accepting BOW, because a river runs through it. As a result, Toronto Pearson will now be known as BYC, and new bicycle lanes will be built on the 401 to encourage travellers to exercise on route to the airport.
  • Vancouver International has gracefully accepted the airport code BVR, saying it celebrates the semi-aquatic rodent that helped shape Canada’s history. A minority of the Vancouver Airport Authority board preferred the code BONG, until it was pointed out that it had too many letters for an IATA code. 
  • One unresolved situation is the code for Edmonton International, which would go from YEG to BEG under the new naming policy. “It’s so typical of Ottawa’s complete disregard for Alberta that Calgary is now BOW and we’re supposed to be BEG,” said an airport spokesperson. We don’t BEG and Calgary doesn’t BOW.” A Calgary airport spokesperson replied: “Typical Edmonton inferiority. We’re not BOW as in Bow-wow, we’re BOW as in bow-and-arrow and the Bow River that runs through our city. Maybe Edmonton should be BED, because when the sun goes down that’s all there is to do.”