Labor’s Infrastructure Minister Catherine King has revealed the new international airport in western Sydney will be called WSI, while providing an update on its progress on Thursday.
The assignment of the three-letter airport code for Western Sydney International Airport by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) comes ahead of the airport’s expected opening in 2026.
“The awarding of the IATA three-letter code is an exciting step forward in the development of WSI,” Ms King said in a statement.
Some famous international airports are known almost universally by their IATA codes, such as LAX in Los Angeles and JFK in New York.
The three-letter codes are also what passengers see on their boarding passes and luggage tags.
Typically, IATA codes are an abbreviation of the city’s name or the official name of the airport, although some countries have a more unique naming approach.
In Canada, all international airports carry a Y as the first letter of their IATA code, which harks back to the 1930s when airports featuring a radio station located on its premises had a Y for yes.
Other IATA codes reveal the histories of cities, such as Beijing’s main international airport which carries the IATA code PEK in reference to the city’s former English name Peking.
The new WSI code comes as construction on the mega project has surpassed the 40 per cent completion mark.
A major second airport is designed to relieve pressure on Sydney Airport, which has capacity issues and flight curfews due to its close proximity to the city on one side and Botany Bay on the other.
“The Australian Government is committed to delivering this game-changing infrastructure project for the people of Western Sydney and beyond, enhancing liveability and boosting the economy,” Finance Minister Katy Gallagher added.
WSI will make Sydney the second Australian city to host two international airports after Melbourne, which offers international flights out of Melbourne and Avalon Airports.
The new gateway’s full name will be Western Sydney International Nancy-Bird Walton Airport in honour of the legendary female outback aviator.