Richmond International Airport

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Richmond International Airport
Richmond International Airport Logo.jpg


RIC is located in Virginia
Location of the Richmond International Airport
Airport type Public
Owner/Operator Capital Region Airport Commission
Serves Richmond, Virginia
Location Sandston, Virginia
Elevation AMSL 167 ft / 50.9 m
Coordinates 37°30′18″N 077°19′10″W / 37.50500°N 77.31944°W / 37.50500; -77.31944
Direction Length Surface
ft m
16/34 9,003 2,744 Asphalt
2/20 6,607 2,014 Asphalt
7/25 5,326 1,623 Asphalt
Statistics (2009, 2010)
Aircraft operations (2009) 104,884
Based aircraft (2009) 73
Passengers (2010) 3,311,747

Richmond International Airport (IATA: RICICAO: KRICFAA LID: RIC) is a joint civil-military public airport, in Sandston, Virginia, an unincorporated community (within Henrico County).

Richmond International Airport is the busiest airport in central Virginia. The airport is about 7 miles (11 km) southeast of downtown Richmond, the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia.


Seven commercial air carriers currently serve RIC, with non-stop flights to 20 destinations, and connecting flights to other countries. An estimated record 3,630,000 passengers used RIC in 2007. In January 2012, following its merger with AirTran, Southwest Airlines hinted that they would begin flights to Richmond[3] and actually began nonstop service to Orlando on Sunday, November 4, 2013.[4]

To help accommodate the current and proposed increase in passengers and air service, RIC has embarked on a major expansion program. It has increased the number of gates, added parking spaces (to 8,000), and created a new terminal roadway and air traffic control tower. The project features major renovations of the terminal building, including upper-level departures and lower-level arrivals, the construction of a central utility plant, and the widening of security checkpoints. Construction on the renovated two-level terminal was completed in spring 2007, and was designed by Gresham, Smith & Partners.[5]

In 2004, Richmond International Airport handled over 57,000 tons of cargo. Cargo services offered at the airport include more than 100,000 square feet (10,000 m2) of warehouse/office space and 1,000,000 square feet (100,000 m2) of apron space. The airport is designated a Foreign Trade Zone. Because of its position on the Eastern Seaboard, cargo transit via RIC is on the rise. Goods shipped out of the metropolitan Richmond area can reach 50% of the U.S. population within 24 hours.


Byrd Field in 1952

The airport was dedicated as Richard Evelyn Byrd Flying Field in 1927 in honor of aviator Richard E. Byrd, brother of then Gov. Harry F. Byrd. Charles Lindbergh attended the dedication ceremony. Although the facility was in Henrico County, Richmond Mayor John Fulmer Bright was instrumental in the creation of Byrd Field, which was initially owned by the City of Richmond.

The current president and CEO of the airport is Jon Mathiasen. It is owned and operated by the Capital Region Airport Commission, a Commonwealth-created governmental agency overseen by representatives of Chesterfield, Hanover, and Henrico counties, and the City of Richmond.

A terminal building designed by Marcellus Wright and Son was completed in 1950.[6] It was expanded from 1968 to 1970, which included the current passenger concourses.[7]

The April 1957 Official Airline Guide shows 43 weekday departures: 22 on Eastern, 10 Piedmont, 5 American, 4 National, and 2 Capital.

Airport statistics[edit]

In 2007, the airport served 3,634,544 passengers, a record for the airport; a 10.3% increase over 2006.[8] RIC is the fourth-busiest airport in Virginia, after Washington Dulles, Ronald Reagan Washington, and Norfolk.

In November 2012, RIC served 262,146 passengers. Delta was the largest carrier with 32.2%, while US Airways had 20.6%, and United had 17.9% Other carrier were: American (10.7%), AirTran (10.2%), JetBlue (7.9%), and Air Canada (0.4%).[9]

Richmond International has 73 based aircraft; 21 are single-engine, 21 multi-engine, and 31 jets.[10]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations Concourse
Allegiant Air St. Petersburg/Clearwater[11] B
American Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth A
American Eagle Chicago-O'Hare, Miami, New York–LaGuardia A
Delta Air Lines Atlanta B
Delta Connection Boston, Cincinnati, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York-JFK, New York-LaGuardia
Seasonal: Orlando
JetBlue Airways Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando A
Southwest Airlines Atlanta, Orlando B
United Airlines Chicago-O'Hare B
United Express Chicago-O'Hare, Houston-Intercontinental, Newark, Washington-Dulles B
US Airways Charlotte A
US Airways Express Charlotte, Philadelphia A

Seasonal Charter Flights[edit]

Airlines Destinations Concourse
Interjet operated by Vacation Express Cancún B

Traffic and statistics[edit]

Busiest domestic routes from RIC (September 2013 – August 2014)[12]
Rank Airport Passengers Carriers
1 Atlanta, Georgia 460,000 Delta, Southwest
2 Charlotte, North Carolina 234,000 US Airways
3 Chicago (O'Hare), Illinois 149,000 American, United
4 Boston, Massachusetts 120,000 JetBlue, Delta
5 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 116,000 American
6 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 88,000 US Airways
7 Orlando, Florida 72,000 JetBlue, Southwest
8 New York (LaGuardia), New York 63,000 Delta
9 Detroit, Michigan 62,000 Delta
10 Newark, New Jersey 59,000 United

Cargo carriers[edit]

Airlines Destinations
FedEx Express Indianapolis, Knoxville, Memphis
Flight Express Charleston (Executive)
UPS Airlines Louisville, Philadelphia

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • In 1951: Eastern Airlines Flight 601 suffered severe buffeting after an access door opened in flight. A flapless wheels-up landing was made a few miles short of the runway at Curles Neck Farm after the crew feared that the aircraft would disintegrate before they could get to the airport to attempt an emergency landing. There were no fatalities.
  • In 1961: Imperial Airlines Flight 201/8 was destroyed when it crashed and burned following an attempted emergency landing at the airport, all 74 passengers, and two of the 5 crewmembers died.
  • In 1996, Eastwind Airlines Flight 517 from Trenton, New Jersey, experienced loss of rudder control while on approach to Richmond; however, control was regained shortly after, and the aircraft landed normally.[13] There was one minor injury.
  • In 2011, a private twin engine, Piper Navajo, crashed after take-off. Only the pilot was on board at the time of the crash.[14] The pilot suffered burns and was immediately taken to a hospital.

Virginia Air National Guard[edit]

Until October 2007, the 192d Fighter Wing (192 FW), an Air Combat Command (ACC)-gained unit of the Virginia Air National Guard, maintained an Air National Guard station, operating F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft from the airport. In late 2007, pursuant to BRAC 2005 action, the 192 FW relinquished its F-16C and F-16D aircraft and moved to Langley AFB (now Joint Base Langley-Eustis), to integrate with the Regular Air Force as an associate unit to the 1st Fighter Wing (1 FW) flying the F-22 Raptor. The former Richmond International Airport Air National Guard Station property was transferred to the Department of the Army in support of U.S. Army Reserve and Virginia Army National Guard activities.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ FAA Airport Master Record for RIC (Form 5010 PDF), effective June 30, 2011
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ "RIC could see Southwest service in about a year – Richmond Times-Dispatch: Richmond's Business & Economic News". February 1, 2012. Retrieved November 15, 2013. 
  4. ^ PETER BACQUÉ (November 5, 2013). "RIC welcomes Southwest Airlines to Richmond – Richmond Times-Dispatch: Richmond's Business & Economic News". Retrieved February 19, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Airport Design, Architecture and Interior Design – Gresham, Smith and Partners". Retrieved November 15, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Terminal Building, Richard E. Byrd Airport, Richmond, Virginia: Rarely Seen Richmond". Virginia Commonwealth Univeristy. Retrieved November 15, 2013. 
  7. ^ "History". Capital Region Airport Commission. Retrieved January 22, 2015. 
  8. ^ Dunham, Linda (January 30, 2008). "Richmond airport's growth flying high". Richmond Times-Dispatch. 
  9. ^ Bacqué, Peter. "Richmond airport's November passenger traffic down 0.5 percent". Retrieved November 15, 2013. 
  10. ^ [2][dead link]
  11. ^
  12. ^ "RITA | BTS | Transtats". Retrieved September 19, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Aircraft accident Boeing 737-2H5 N221US Richmond, VA". Aviation Safety Network. June 9, 1996. 
  14. ^ "Plane Crashes at Richmond International Airport – WRIC Richmond News and Weather". November 9, 2013. Retrieved November 15, 2013. 
  15. ^ John Pike. "Richmond International Airport / Byrd Field". Retrieved November 15, 2013. 

External links[edit]