Tuesday, February 08, 2022

GAY ‘offensive’ code for Gaya airport, says House panel

The GAY code assigned to Bihar’s Gaya airport is “inappropriate, unsuitable, offensive/ embarrassing”, a parliamentary panel has said and asked the government to get it changed to YAG or some other suitable alternative.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) assigns airport codes that can be seen while booking tickets. IATA represents about 290 airlines in 120 countries carrying 83% of the world’s air traffic.

Member airline Air India had flagged the agency about the “inappropriate” code for the holy city in Bihar, but the international agency “expressed its inability to change” it.

Last January, the Committee on Public Undertakings (CoPU) in its first report tabled in Parliament recommended a change because “locals might find it offensive or embarrassing” that their city is “recognised in the international community with the code name GAY”. The committee also found it “inappropriate”.

CoPU’s 10th report on the aviation ministry in Parliament’s both Houses earlier this month cited the government’s action taken report on the code. It said IATA had told Air India that “location codes are considered permanent and a strong justification primarily concerning air safety needs to be given” to make a change.

IATA also said the Gaya airport code GAY has been in use since “operationalisation of Gaya airstrip” and so it cannot be changed “without a justifiable reason primarily concerning air safety”, according to the committee.

08/02/22 Times of India

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