The airport was opened in 1943, during World War II. Commercial service became available in 1958 after the runway was reconstructed. It is built on an island (the Polynesian word for which is "motu") located in a lagoon. A boat transfer is necessary to get to the main island of Bora Bora.
Passengers from Vaitape, the largest population center on Bora Bora, usually use this airport for air travel.