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Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014
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St. Pete airport serves up pie to mark Pi, PIE Day

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Published:   |   Updated: March 13, 2014 at 11:48 PM

CLEARWATER — Even people who don't fly much know LAX is the International Air Transport Association Code for Los Angeles International Airport, while JFK stands for John. F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and DFW is Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

If people heading to Tampa send their luggage tagged to TIA, they should prepared to pick up their bags in Albania at Tirana International Airport. Tampa International Airport's code is TPA.

Perhaps the most offbeat local airport code, however, is PIE, used for St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport. The Peoria, Ill., airport got the more realistic PIA first, hence “P” for Pinellas, “I” for International and “E”, well, it stands for absolutely nothing, officials said.

But PIE director Noah Lagos and his staff have decided to have more fun with their catchy designation over the past year, prominently using the PIE symbol in rebranding the airport with the name St. Pete-Clearwater, and also in the Fly2Pie.com website.

Today will be PIE Day at the Pinellas airport with employees handing out pieces of strawberry or key lime pie from 1 p.m. to 3:14 p.m., or sooner if supplies run out, to visitors who drive up to the airport terminal curbside or stop inside.

Why 3:14 p.m.? Today, 3/14, also is Pi Day, when the math community worldwide commemorates the mathematical constant that's the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter equals 3.14159 — and so on in calculations that have run out to 1 trillion digits.

“It's just something for fun,” airport Public Relations Director Michele Routh said. “And to thank people for using our airport and pushing us past the 1 million passenger mark last year.”

tjackovics@tampatrib.com

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