The aerodrome, which is spread over 25 acres, first opened in 1940. There are no scheduled flights into this airport, however in the past years, the airport was served by airlines like Air Deccan, Kingfisher Airlines, MDLR Airlines and Deccan Charters that discontinued services due to various reasons despite recording good loads. While MDLR and Deccan Charters ceased operations due to internal issues, Air Deccan and Kingfisher had to discontinue services in November 2009 after load restrictions were imposed due to the short length of the runway. Since Air Deccan and Kingfisher operated larger ATR 42 and ATR 72 aircraft respectively, operations became unviable.
Tata Steel has proposed a new airport for city of Jamshedpur on 600 acres in the Adityapur-Seraikela area. The airport is to have a 7,000 feet long runway and will be able to handle Airbus A320 flights. This is not possible on Sonari Airport.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by the AAI and the Jharkhand government on 20 February 2012 for establishing a new airport for Jamshedpur. The state government will provide land to AAI for developing the airport that will initially support ATR-72 sized aircraft with options for later expansion when air traffic increases.