How to complete airport of departure field according to L/C rules?

Today I would like to explain you how to complete the airport of departure field correctly according to letter of credit rules.

Air waybill is a transport document that is used in air shipments, which will be requested by issuing banks under letter of credit transactions.

Airport of departure is one of the key elements of an air waybill and it needs to be completed carefully when dealing with a letter of credit, because banks find discrepancies on the transport documents more frequently than any other shipping documents under letter of credit presentations.
If you need more fundamental information in regards to airport of departure and how it functions on an air waybill, please have a look at my previous article "What does airport of departure and airport of destination mean on an air waybill?"

What does letter of credit rules say about airport of departure?
  • According to letter of credit rules an air transport document, air waybill, is to indicate the airport of departure stated in the letter of credit. 
  • I have mentioned on my previous article that the airport of departure can be stated on the air waybill by using three letter IATA codes instead of mentioning the airport name in full (for example, LHR instead of London Heathrow Airport). This kind of presentation is acceptable as per letter of credit rules. 
  • Sometimes letters of credit indicate the name of the country in which the airport of departure is located. But according the letter of credit rules the name of the country need not be stated on the air waybill even if it was indicated on the letter of credit. 
  • When a credit indicates a geographical area or range of airports of departure (for example, “Any European Airport” or “Hamburg, Bremen, Bremerhaven airport”), an air transport document is to indicate the actual airport of departure, which is to be within that geographical area or range of airports. An air transport document need not indicate the geographical area.
Letter of credit example with air waybill indicating airport of departure:
----------------------- Message Header ---------------------------------
Swift OUTPUT FIN 700 Issue of a Documentary Credit
Sender     :  CAIXESBBXXX
                    CAIXABANK S.A. 
                    (COMMERCIAL BRANCH) 
                    BARCELONA ES

Receiver    : HABALT22XXX
                    SWEDBANK
                    (ALL TURKEY OFFICES) 
                    HELSINKI FI

----------------------- Message Text ----------------------------------
27:   Sequence of Total
        1/1
40A:  Form of Documentary Credit
        IRREVOCABLE
40E:  Applicable Rules
        UCPURR LATEST VERSION
43P:  Partial Shipments
         NOT ALLOWED
43T:  Transhipment
         ALLOWED
44E:  Port of Loading/Airport of Departure
         HELSINKI, TURKU OR OULU AIRPORT FINLAND
44F:  Port of Discharge/Airport of Destination
         BARCELONA AIRPORT
44C:  Latest Date of Shipment
         150512 (12.May.2015)
45A:  Description of Goods &/or Services
      AUTO AIR FILTER AS PER PROFORMA INVOICE NO.:P-121-7 L04 DATED 03/07/2014.CPT, BARCELONA AIRPORT, INCOTERMS 2010.
Above figure shows airport of departure as Helsinki Port, Finland.
Presentation of Helsinki Airport with IATA Codes as indicated on the left upper side is acceptable as per L/C rules. 
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