That’s part of pilot speak, and nooooo they are not calling someone silly names. According to an article we read. Sure they are said to swear by these 5-letter words…why? You know when you use GPS or Google maps for navigation, you select markers known as waypoints. These are your “milestones” so to speak, that you gain an understanding of where you are and how you are progressing on a journey.
So its the same with navigating the globe in a plane. The independent revealed (read here) some of the most interesting names that the air traffic controllers have given the waypoints. You’d be amazed that there is no convention for the naming and that various situations and local considerations were the key factors! One thing to note though, these navigation waypoints must comprise of 5 letters of the alphabet.
Sounds like the way the names of typhoons are named. Each year a different country in the Asia Pacific gets to provide names that would be used for each storm that emerges from the ocean. No real convention there too! Oops, we digressed again!
And it seems that more and more it is getting out of vogue. Because with modern GPS technologies it is no longer critical to follow waypoints some airline quoted said. But we aren’t sure about this…what if one airline decides to ditch waypoints and fly direct using GPS while others stick with it? Would that be allowed?
Do you think airlines should ditch waypoints and map direct point-2-point routes?