According to a Parliamentary panel, the code name GAY for the airport at Gaya is ‘inappropriate, embarrassing and offensive.’ In a report tabled in the Parliament, the Committee on Public Undertakings mentioned that government should adopt steps to change the code name of the airport at Gaya from GAY. The panel suggest ‘appropriate’ codes like YAG for the airport.
According to the Committee on Public Undertakings, the locals might be finding it offensive or embarrassing for their city to be recognised in the international community with the code name ‘GAY’ as Gaya is a holy city. “The Committee too finds it inappropriate and unsuitable,” the report said. The body has requested the Government of India and Air India to complete consultations and formalities in a time-bound manner to get the code name of Gaya airport changed.
IATA Will Not Encourage Code Change, Says Aviation Ministry
The Committee has already taken the matter to the Ministry of Civil Aviation. In response, the Ministry informed the former about IATA’s response, which stated that location codes are permanent and cannot be changed without strong justification concerning air safety. “Gaya airport IATA code ‘GAY’ has been in use since the operationalisation of Gaya airstrip. Hence, without a justifiable reason primarily concerning air safety, IATA has expressed its inability to change the IATA code of Gaya airport,” the Ministry informed the panel.
The Committee, being unsatisfied with the response from the aviation ministry, has now taken the matter to the government. “The committee appreciates the efforts of Air India being a member airline of IATA to take up the request with the international air transport association but, yet, re-emphasise the government also to make all effort to take up the matter with the IATA...,” the report said.
According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) norms, airlines are assigned with two-character codes, and airports get three-character codes, required for the smooth functioning of hundreds of electronic applications. The three-character codes of the airports are mostly seen on air tickets and airport display screens. IATA ensures that the codes are not repeated for airports or airlines worldwide. The codes are mostly derived from the airport’s name, location, or such relevant identifiers.