Before it was constructed, there was a huge demand for an airport in the region, for quicker travel to capital Dhaka. Local organisations held many strikes and demonstrations for its construction. The airport was finally built in 1985 on 163 acres of land, at cost of BDT 4 million. It was officially inaugurated by the then president Abdur Rahman Biswas on 3 December 1995. Aero Bengal Airlines, a private airline, was the first airline to launch flights to the airport. National carrier, Biman started their services on November 1995.
In 2007, the airport played a significant role during the relief operation in the aftermath of Cyclone Sidr in November 2007, thus virtually saving thousands of lives of the cyclone affected people. International relief materials like drinking water, rice, blankets and other life saving materials were possible to sent to the devastated victims of the cyclone with the help of the airport.
The airport has served 158,987 passengers between 1995 to 2009. Over 20,000 flights including passengers, training, cargo and other flights had operated from the airport. The airport saw highest number of passengers in 1999 and highest number of flights in the year 2000.