Roatan Airport Code

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Airport Code

The Roatan Airport, officially Juan Manuel Gálvez International Airport, has two distinct codes: RTB and MHRO. These codes stem from different aviation organizations and serve varied purposes:

  1. RTB: This is the IATA (International Air Transport Association) code. IATA codes, comprising three letters, are used by airlines, travel agents, and passengers for ticketing, baggage handling, and scheduling tasks. RTB succinctly identifies the airport in Roatan.
  2. MHRO: This represents the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) code, which has four alphanumeric characters. ICAO codes are primarily utilized for air traffic control and flight operations. In this code, “MH” designates Honduras, and “RO” specifically pinpoints the airport in Roatan.

What are airport codes?

They are location identifiers, three-letter or four-letter codes assigned to airports worldwide. These codes serve as a standardized shorthand for identifying airports and are used in airline schedules, ticketing, baggage handling, air traffic control, and aviation-related communications. They make it possible to represent complex airport names with a concise and universally recognized code.


The history of airport codes dates back to the early days of aviation when two-letter codes primarily identified airports. These codes were often arbitrary and not standardized. The need for a more systematic approach became apparent as air travel expanded globally.  In 1930, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) introduced the three-letter airport codes that we are familiar with today. These codes were created to simplify airline operations and streamline communication. The IATA codes are primarily used by airlines and travel-related services.

Who Assigns Airport Codes?

Two prominent organizations assign airport codes: the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

IATA Codes

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) assigns three-letter codes to airports. These codes are widely used by airlines, travel agencies, and passengers for ticketing, baggage handling, and flight reservations. IATA codes are designed to simplify airline operations and improve the passenger experience. Unlike ICAO codes, IATA codes are often more user-friendly and intuitive. 

ICAO Codes

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) assigns four-letter codes to airports worldwide. These codes are primarily used for air traffic control and aviation safety purposes. ICAO codes provide a standardized and globally recognized system for identifying airports and facilitating international air navigation and communication.

How Airport Codes Work

Airport codes are typically derived from the airport’s name, city, or landmarks. However, there are exceptions where the codes may not seem directly related to the airport’s name. For example, Los Angeles International Airport is assigned the IATA code ‘LAX,’ referencing its former name, “Mines Field.”

The Importance of Airport Codes

  1. Efficient Communication: Airport codes enable efficient communication between airlines, air traffic controllers, and aviation professionals. They reduce the risk of misunderstandings and errors in a dynamic and fast-paced industry.
  2. Simplified Travel Planning: Travelers benefit from airport codes when booking flights and navigating airports. Codes make identifying destinations and connecting flights easier, streamlining travel planning.
  3. Global Standardization: ICAO and IATA codes provide a global standard for airport identification, ensuring consistency and accuracy in aviation operations worldwide.
  4. Enhanced Safety: Accurate and standardized airport codes are crucial for aviation safety. They help air traffic controllers track aircraft, manage airspace, and respond to emergencies effectively.

Notable Central America Airport Codes

  1. Guatemala City La Aurora International Airport  (IATA: GUA ICAO: MGGT)
  2. San Pedro Sula Ramon Villeda Morales Airport (IATA: SAP ICAO: MHLM)
  3. Comayagua Palmerola International Airport (IATA: XPL ICAO: MHPR)
  4. Tegucigalpa Toncontin International Airport (IATA: TNT ICAO: MHTG)
  5. San Salvador Saint Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (IATA: SAL ICAO: MSLP)
  6. Managua Augusto Cesar Sandino (IATA: MGA ICAP: MNMG)
  7. San Jose Juan Santamaria International Airport (IATA: SJO ICAO: MROC)
  8. Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (IATA: LIR ICAO: MRLB)
  9. Panama City Tocumen International Airport (IATA: PTY ICAO: MPTO