It serves Ballina and the nearby town of Byron Bay, a 20-minute drive north. Ballina Airport handled 365,200 passengers in the 2012/13 financial year.
It is 5 km (3 mi) from the Ballina CBD, in Southern Cross Drive. An occasional bus service operates to and from the airport, except on Christmas Day.
In 2005 Ballina Airport was renamed Ballina Byron Gateway Airport in a bid to attract more people to the area.
A master plan for an upgrade and expansion of the terminal has been drawn up and may be constructed with a new glass facade facing the apron and runway as well as a new drop-off/pick-up area and multiple interior changes. This is due to the increase in numbers since the introduction of jet services by Jetstar and Virgin Australia.
The upgrade will in the future involve a taxiway being built for the runway and many more facilities for the airport. There is a master plan for the airport.