Kärdla Airport opened in 1963. During the next years there was fairly high activity at the airport, with regular flights to Tallinn, Haapsalu, Vormsi, Kuressaare, Riga, Pärnu, Viljandi and Tartu, and charter flights to Murmansk, Vilnius and Kaunas. 24,335 passengers travelled via Kärdla Airport in 1987. Air traffic sank dramatically after Estonia became independent in 1991, and in 1995 only 727 passengers travelled via the airport. Since then the traffic has increased again, and 10,551 passengers travelled via the airport in 2010.
The airport has annual Flight Days in the first weekend of August.
On 23 November 2001, an airplane with 17 people on board crashed on its way from Tallinn to Kärdla, near Palade at Hiiumaa. Two people died in the crash. The investigation and the trial still continues.