Akita Airport was originally opened on October 1, 1951 on the Omonogawa coast of the Sea of Japan approximately 20 kilometers southeast of the center of Akita City. The airport has a 1200 meter runway, which was extended to 1500 meters in 1967 and 1625 meters in 1969, but was adversely affected by crosswinds, and by the television transmission antennas of 123-meter Mount Omoriyama adjacent to the site. The current Akita Airport was opened at its present location on June 26, 1981 and was the first civilian airport in the Tohoku region of Japan to have a 2500 meter runway. In 1985, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force established a search and rescue unit based at Akita Airport. An international terminal was established on July 5, 1993, beginning scheduled flights to South Korea.