Frequently Asked Questions on ch-aviation - Airports

ch-aviation offers you a very user friendly interface targeted at consumers, professionals and enthusiasts alike to search and analyse airport details. We have answered the most frequently asked questions below and hope this will address any immediate questions you may have on our airports section of the site:


How do I use the airports search form?

You can either search an airport by name or code or get a list of all airports in a specific country (or state). If you choose to search by name or country, either enter the city or airport name and we will dynamically offer you options in a dropdown list based on your entry. Alternatively you may search airports by IATA (three character) code, ICAO (four character) code or by alternative codes, i.e. codes used by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for US airports without an IATA or ICAO code. If you select an airport from the dropdown list, we will take you immediately to the airport detail page. Otherwise, you will be presented with a list of search results.


Does ch-aviation list every airport?

No, we do not. We aim to continuously increase the number of airports listed on our site with the same level of detail as currently provided. We currently provide information for all airports commercially served by scheduled passenger or cargo flights and a variety of other airports that have already been added in addition.


What do IATA and ICAO stand for?

IATA is the International Air Transport Association and assigns three letter codes for each airport that is served by its member airlines and other carriers wishing to sell seats through the industry’s distribution channels. ICAO is the International Civil Aviation Organization and assigns four letter codes for each airport in cooperation with the civil aviation authority of each country. IATA codes are generally mainly used for commercial purposes (i.e. airline reservations) while ICAO codes are used for operational purposes (i.e. flight plans). Some countries issue their own alternative codes for airports that do not have IATA or ICAO codes, where applicable and publically available, such codes are displayed as Alternative codes.


What are stored or terminated aircraft?

ch-aviation provides you with a list of aircraft that are either in short or long term storage at the selected airport (“stored”) or that have been either been scrapped/parted out at the airport or been written off at the airport as a result of an accident or incident (“terminated).


Is the Departures/Arrival information available in real-time?

We only make the Departures/Arrival information on ch-aviation available for information purposes. The data is purely based on schedule data and does not represent or replace real-time flight information made available by airlines or airports. However, we provide direct links where known and available to the websites of airports and airlines so you can look up real-time information there.


ch-aviation has partnered with OAG Aviation Worldwide Limited, one of the leading airline schedule data providers to be able to offer this service for you. We receive weekly schedule updates for the vast majority of all scheduled passenger airlines and also some charter and cargo carriers. While ch-aviation is undertaking a large amount of effort to correct and improve the data quality received from airlines by applying a wide range of data integrity checks, we still rely on what is initially filed and provided by the airlines and cannot guarantee that the schedules are 100% accurate at any given time.


What does codeshare and wet-lease stand for?

Codesharing is a fairly common practice in the airline industry and as the word already suggests means that a flight operated by an operating carrier (that physically operates the flight) also carries one or multiple codes by other marketing carriers (that are only selling the flight operated by another carrier). The operating carrier operates the aircraft and offers its own product and gets the benefit that it is easier to sell its product through not just its own distribution channels but also through the marketing carrier. The marketing carrier can offer more destinations, connections or services on the same city pair thanks to placing its code on services operated by the partner. Maybe a controversial statement but think of it as Coca-Cola selling Coke and “Coke” (provided by Pepsi in Pepsi bottles and with Pepsi in the bottles). For example, United Airlines has a bilateral codeshare agreement with All Nippon Airways allowing the two Star Alliance carriers to offer more flights under their own code between the United States and Japan and more importantly a wide range of connections beyond their gateways on both sides of the Pacific.


Wet Lease describes the concept where an airline leases not just an aircraft from a leasing company (that would be considered a Dry-Lease) but where Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance (ACMI Lease is another term for Wet Lease) are provided by another airline. So to get back to the Coca-Cola example, a case where Coke (or a product similar to Coke) is provided by a subcontractor in different bottles that may or may not be Coke branded. Airlines use wet-leases for a variety of reasons, for example to make use of the better cost structure of regional carriers or to provide additional permanent or seasonal capacity, to operate an aircraft type that the airline itself does not wish to operate itself etc. United Airlines uses the services of regional carrier SkyWest Airlines for example, that operates hundreds of Bombardier regional jets on its behalf under the United Express brand and UA flight numbers.


By default, if you search for schedules, we will include all services operated by the airline itself or on its behalf by other carriers on a wet-lease basis in the search results. So if you search for United Airlines, we show you United Airlines flights operated by United with its own aircraft as well as any other United Airlines flights operated on a wet-lease basis (i.e. the United Express flights operated by SkyWest).


If you would like to include codeshares as well (i.e. domestic services in Japan operated by ANA where United is just a marketing carrier and placed its UA code on these), then check the “Include codeshares” box.


If you would like to see all flights operated by SkyWest Airlines on behalf of other carriers, then search for airline code “OO” or “SkyWest Airlines” and check the “Include wet-leases” checkbox. This will return all SkyWest Airlines services, no matter if they are operated on behalf of Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines or US Airways, all of which are SkyWest customers.


What does “operated by” stand for in the Remarks column of the Departures/Arrivals display?

We use it to indicate that the route is operated by another airline on a wet-lease basis or similar (see above for additional information on wet-leases).