Sudbury Airport began as an emergency landing facility with a single 6,600 ft (2,000 m) landing strip for CF-100s from CFB North Bay in 1952.
On February 25, 1953, the Sudbury Airport Committee was formed to lobby and arrange for commercial flights to Sudbury. A second landing strip and a terminal building had to be built and construction of these were completed in 1955. Regular commercial air service began on February 1, 1954, by Trans-Canada Air Lines.
The air traffic control tower was added in 1972 and the terminal building was replaced with a larger one in 1973, which was renovated and expanded again in the early 2000s.
From 1972 to 2000, Sudbury Airport was owned by the Federal Government and operated by the transportation department of Sudbury. On March 31, 2000, the airport ownership and management were transferred to the Sudbury Airport Community Development Corporation (SACDC).
In March 2012, after WestJet confirmed its plans to launch a regional airline, Gregg Saretsky said in an interview with The Globe and Mail that Sudbury was one of the cities where the company was considering expanding its service. However, Sudbury was not chosen as a destination. The manager of the airport suggested in 2014 that the airport would have to see considerable growth in passenger traffic before WestJet would consider returning to Sudbury.  WestJet had previously operated flights between Sudbury and Hamilton between 2001 and 2003.