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Homophobic Lawmakers In This City Want to Change the Airport’s ‘GAY’ International Code

Homophobic Lawmakers In This City Want to Change the Airport’s ‘GAY’ International Code

Lawmakers in India want to change the official airport code for the holy city of Gaya in the state of Bihar because they believe it is “offensive” and “embarrassing”. Gaya’s internationally recognised three-letter airport code is GAY.

Airports have been known by coded letters since the 1930s when pilots in the United States started to use the same two-letter codes that the National Weather Service had developed to identify different cities.

It soon became apparent that two-letter wouldn’t be enough so a three-letter code was developed independently of the National Weather Service that could be used around the world. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) took on responsibility for maintaining the registry of airport codes when it was formed in 1945.

The registry currently contains 9,158 codes but the system could be stretched to 17,576 permutations. Along with airports, bus and ferry terminals can also be assigned an IATA location identifier if “these locations are involved in intermodal airline travel.”

Gaya got its location identifier by using the ubiquitous naming convention of the first three letters of the name of the location. Lawmakers have suggested Gaya’s airport code could be altered to YAG to avoid embarrassing people with the “inappropriate and unsuitable” GAY identifier.

Airport codes generally don’t follow the conventional naming standard if there is a conflict or other good reason. For example, Newark is named EWR because the N code is reserved for the U.S. Navy.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles (LAX) and Phoenix (PHX) are so named because they kepot their original two-letter National Weather Service code and simply appended X to comply with the IATA standard.

And Canada’s seemingly bizarre airport codes which feature Y’s and Z’s with no connection to the city are connected to an old weather reporting system as well.

India’s Committee on Public Undertakings has urged the government to take the necessary action to change Gay’s airport code but IATA has already made it known that such a request is likely to be rejected.

Location codes are considered permanent and a report from the government noted that “without a justifiable reason primarily concerning air safety, IATA has expressed its inability to change the IATA code of Gaya airport”.

View Comments (9)
  • One of the long-term Indian drivers I’ve used in India is from Gaya, but most people, but the city is better connected by train than by plane unless maybe coming in from Calcutta or Rangoon.

    For most of India’s post-colonial history as an independent state, the word “gay” in India was generally not equated with homosexuality as much as with happiness. That some right-wing idiots want to cancel culture an airport code for being “GAY”? Can’t say I am surprised. India was always full of surprises, but this airport renaming push isn’t surprising in Modi’s India. The RSS types and their other right-wing fellow travelers are on a renaming binge as part of their cancel culture push to rewrite Indian history.

    • Before commenting on things you don’t know about, it was the RSS chief, Mohan Bhagwat, in 2019, made a public statement that the LGBT community was an integral part of Indian society.

      It was actually the left that never made any progress on LGBT issues during decades of rule.

      But sorry if that doesn’t play into your “progressive” vision.

  • The basic argument that this blog seems to be advancing via this post’s title is that anyone is per se homophobic if they don’t like being the idea of being called gay.

    “Live and let live” ceases to exist for the militant left. If you aren’t all-in for the cause de jour, you must be slapped with some derogatory label, silenced, or both. The refusal to acknowledge the possibility of any reasonable middle ground is costly to your stated cause.

    • I don’t see that argument being put forward in the blogger’s post.

      The idea that having GAY as an airport code in India is inappropriate for Gaya is ridiculous; and this ridiculous push is coming from Indian legislators looking to stir the pot and re-write history.

      I hope IATA tells the Indian legislators pushing for this change to go pound sand and refuses to kowtow to these insecure nitwits who think GAY is inappropriate for an airport code for Gaya because of its being a “holy city”.

  • The RSS internet troll army and their fan base is always out in full force at first sign of being called out for what they are. So not surprised to see their apologists come out here too. Mohan Bhagwat has as his bhagwan the notorious Mahatma assassin of Mahatma Gandhi. That speaks volumes enough.

    GAYA airport has been GAY for a long time, even before it filled up the board with flights to Bangalore, Bombay, Varanasi and who knows where else on top of traditional Delhi, Calcutta and Rangoon. It’s only in the RSS-dominated era of India that minorities of all sorts know that India is now on a major kick to wipe out references that may suggest India is a composite country where minorities of all sorts have always been an integral — core — part — of India being India and should always be so. For India to have party legislators who fuss over an airport code being GAY is just a sign of the times.

    • The world isn’t so black and white. If you think Gandhi was the epitome of saintly action just because of the pedestal he’s been placed on (rightly or wrongly) then you clearly haven’t done your research. By your logic, then you’re into pedophilia because Gandhi was too?

      • Typical of the RSS and its fellow travelers to try to malign Gandhi. That’s one of a bunch of sick thing the RSS and its fellow travelers have in common with the terrorist-supporters in Pakistan. Birds of a feather on the same Gandhi-hating agenda share more in common than just that.

  • Keep imagining excuses about what you wish, but your dream and ridiculing questions does not make for reality any more than the RSS and other right-wing religious extremists and apologists desire to engage in cancel culture renaming of airports and so much more that it speaks to a pitiful insecurity unbefitting of a great (and great because its being a composite) nation. And the country will be greater when these insecure “rename it” and “rewrite-to-wipeout” bigots get their reality check dealt to them that they deserve.

    Your hatred for Mahatma Gandhi is telling. He was no saint, but he was a better man than each and ever RSS gundha.

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