Nursultan Nazarbayev International Airport code officially changes to NQZ

Nursultan Nazarbayev International Airport code officially changes to NQZ

On June 8 Nursultan Nazarbayev International Airport has officially changed its three-letter code from ‘TSE’ to ‘NQZ’. Starting from June 8, the new geocode will be used in all ticket reservation systems, boarding passes, luggage tags and flight information display boards.

“What is the logical meaning of the letter abbreviation ‘NQZ’? ‘N’ stands for Nursultan Nazarbayev Airport, as well as the name of the Kazakh capital of Nur-Sultan. ‘QZ’ is an acronym for Qazaqstan according to the new version of Latin-based Kazakh alphabet. Though the alphabet has not yet been finally approved, I believe that the new sovereign decision of the Kazakh authorities is a new message to the world that we have a new name, a new brand for our airport. We send a signal to the entire global community that we are waiting for new passengers and that we keep adding new routes. I believe that this is a new impetus,” said the author of the ‘NQZ’ code Altai Abibullayev.

Kazakhstan worked on changing the three-letter code of the Nursultan Nazarbayev International Airport that is assigned by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) since 2014.

“One of the principles of the IATA organization is that the airport code can be assigned only once, and it stays unchangeable. We had a big negotiation process. All of the air carriers that fly to Nur-Sultan unanimously supported this initiative,” said at the press briefing Talgat Lastayev, Chairperson of the Civil Aviation Committee of the Kazakh Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure Development.

The changes to the three-letter code were supported in October of last year in Warsaw at the IATA Passenger Standards Conference with the participation of all members of the association.

“There are countries in the world that cannot change the airport’s code for a long time. We approached this problem differently and came up with the proposal to make amendments to the resolution. It was then decided to make a change in the IATA approaches on the assignment and change of airport codes. We went through several stages. There was a special algorithm. First, the request is considered by the IATA organization. It is where we defended our approaches. After that, all IATA air carriers also consider it. The code change was agreed and approved. The decision itself, the notification, was sent to us a few months ago. Today the new three-letter code is officially being introduced,” Lastayev said.

In addition, Kazakhstan intends to change the three-letter codes of airports in Aktau - ‘SCO’ (abbreviation for Shevchenko), Atyrau - ‘GUW’ (abbreviation for Guryev) and Taraz - ‘DMB’ (abbreviation for Dzhambyl). Chairperson of the Kazakhstan’s Civil Aviation Committee Talgat Lastayev said that the codes are outdated and do not correspond to the current names of the cities.