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Why is portland PDX?

Why is portland PDX? Wtf is "PDX" all about?
I know this isn't very activist-related, but I won't be able to get backt to my real friggin work until I figure this shit out. Why in hell is Portland "PDX"? Why the "X"? Why LAX? Why isn't Milwaukee, for example, MWX? It's MKE instead. WTF!?

PDX is the code for the Portland International Airtport 26.Jun.2003 01:08

Now ya know.


so, now ya know.

Now get out from behind your computer and do something important!

Because we don't live at the airport, 26.Jun.2003 02:11


some of us avoid using the ubiquitous "PDX". Personally, I prefer the old-fashioned abbreviation Ptld. although it's longer and more complicated to write or type. Then again, I also prefer Ore. to the postal standardization OR, but laziness often overcomes me on this one, or a form requires a two-letter choice.

Oh, and 26.Jun.2003 02:19


I understand the "X" in an airport abbreviation means "international", i.e. the airport has flights to or from another country (be it Canada, Europe, etc.) and, I suppose, immigration and customs personnel.

It gets better 26.Jun.2003 02:37

Someone else

We get an "X" in PDX because we have strippers at our airport. Obviously, Milwaukie does not.

Does that change your travel plans?

answer the damn question people! 26.Jun.2003 02:39

White Lilac

the poster knows pdx is the airport identifier ... he's asking why pdx stands for portland.

the short answer is that originally airport codes were the same as the national weather service's 2-letter codes that were assigned to weather stations around the country. when airport service expanded, and airlines ran out of letters and needed 3-letter airport identifiers, someone decided to place an "x" after the previous weather station code. so "pd" became "pdx," "la" became "lax" and so on.

(and my favorite, sioux city, iowa ... sux. 'nuff said. btw, Dance, sux is decidedly not an international airport.)

see  http://www.skygod.com/asstd/abc.html

the faa is currently is moving to 4 character airport identifiers designated by the international civil aviation organization ( http://www.icao.int/). they are the same as the previous 3-letter identifier, prefixed by "K" (lower 48), "PA" (alaska), or "PH" (hawai'i and guam) (with two-letter prefixes, one of the previous 3-letter characters may be truncated.)

so pdx is actually now kpdx. whatever.

for other oregon airport codes, see  http://www.airnav.com/airports/us/OR

Still... 26.Jun.2003 02:47


Offer a five to a Hare Krishna and he'll probably give you a lap-dance.

What is Portland Maine 26.Jun.2003 09:48


Whats the code for Portland Maine I wonder.

Portland, ME 26.Jun.2003 12:35


The code for Portland, ME is PWM.

Portland International Airport, PIA, PDX 11.Dec.2015 13:16


Portland International Airport is the official name and is qualified as 'international'.
PIA is the abbreviation.
PDX was and likely still is the weather station at PIA.
Some of us do use PDX to represent Portland.
When making airline reservations, PDX is correct for Portland, PIA.