Wednesday, October 24, 2007

An Iowa Airport Really SUX And If You Don't Remember Why...Let Me Tell You!

When you are trapped in a city that is on par with Bumf#@!, Idaho and are issued the airport code SUX you have two choices...whine like a sissy until the FAA changes the moniker, or embrace the suxage. Sioux City Gateway Airport in Iowa and city officials have decided to do the latter. The code is now proudly emblazoned on t-shirts, caps, sporting the airport's new slogan, "FLY SUX." And on the airports new web site, which proudly proclaims: Great airfares. Free Internet. Easy on, easy off. Why wouldn't ya?

Why embrace the SUX? Well, when Sioux City official petitioned the FAA to change the code back in 1988 and 2002 the FAA offered the city a couple alternatives, including GAY. Heh. So someone at the FAA has the sense of humor of a seventh grader, nice. Airport board member Dave Bernstein proposed embracing the identifier. "Let's make the best of it," Bernstein said. "I think we have the opportunity to turn it into a positive." He noted that many airports, including some of the busiest, have forgettable three-letter codes. "I've got buddies that I went to college with in different cities that can't even remember their own birthdays, but they all know the Sioux City designator - SUX," he said.

It could be worse. There are some airport designator's that have very unique names.

FAG: Fagurholsmyri Airport, Finland
BLO: Blonduos Airport, Iceland
SXC: Catalina Island airport, CA
SXY: Sidney, NY
SXI: Sirri Island, Iran
DIX: Still available! Start your own airport!
And a pending application for Lawrence International (Kansas): LIK
DIX: This is still available! Your could start your own airport!

And if you don't remember, or the City Officials don't remember why Sioux city SUX, I'm sure one woman I work with will. Because on the afternoon of July 19, 1989, United flight 232 was enroute from Denver to Chicago with 285 passengers on board the DC-10. During the flight, there was a loud bang from the rear of the aircraft, causing the entire aircraft to shudder. Captain Al Haynes saw that the number two (center) engine had failed and asked for the engine shutdown checklist to be started. All three hydrualic systems were losing pressure and quantity.In an incredible feat of airmanship, they managed to touch down near the beginning of the runway just off the centerline. Unfortunately, the starboard wingtip touched down just prior to the landing gear, pulling the aircraft sideways. The excess airspeed and high sink rate caused the aircraft to break up on impact, igniting into a huge fireball. Amazingly, depsite the explosion and high speed break-up, 185 people survived the accident, including all four cockpit crew members...including the woman whom I work with.

I'm sure not many of them will ever forget that Sioux City SUX.Of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong!