For twenty years, city officials in Sioux City, Iowa have been trying to get the Federal Aviation Administration to change the three-letter code by which its airport is known throughout the world and which is printed on tickets and luggage tags: SUX (an abbreviation, of course, of Sioux). In 1988, and again in 2002, the city petitioned the FAA, but to no avail. Finally, as the AP reported last week, city officials decided to give up the attempt, and embrace their inner suckiness.
SUX will now be at the center of the airport's new marketing campaign. FLY SUX will appear on souvenir caps and t-shirts, and form the URL of the airport's redesigned website, www.flysux.com.
I salute Sioux City's bold attempt to make a virtue of necessity. As airport board member Mark Bernstein notes, many airports, including some of the busiest, have forgettable three-letter codes (Providence's own T.F. Green Airport, frex, has the totally forgettable PVD), but nobody ever forgets Sioux City's code.