During the Vietnam War the facility was known as Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, serving as a front-line base of the United States Air Force. It subsequently became an international civilian airport, with direct flights to Vietnam. These flights proved unprofitable, and while the "international" signage is still in place, only domestic flights have operated for a number of years. In 2008 here were up to six flights per day from Bangkok to Ubon Ratchathani, all then returning within the hour to Bangkok: 3 were operated by Thai Airways, 2 by Air Asia and 1 by Nok Air. Nok Air ceased their service in mid-2008, and Thai Airways and Air Asia each ceased one of their own flights, so that in January 2009 there are only 2 Thai Airways (early morning and evening) and 1 Air Asia flight (midmorning) each day. Thai Airways expects to reintroduce their afternoon service in late January 2009. Nok Air now (August 2010) has three flights from Bangkok to Ubon.
As well as being a commercial facility, Ubon Ratchathani Airport is also an active Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) base, the home of 2nd Air Division/21st Wing Air Combat Command. The 211sq "Eagles" fly the Northrup F-5E/F "Tiger II"" fighter aircraft.
On 9 August 1983, Douglas VC-47B L2-30/07/641 of the Royal Thai Air Force crashed on take-off from Ubon Ratchathani AFB on a military flight. All five people on board were killed, along with four on the ground.