Richmond International Airport

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Richmond International Airport
Richmond International Airport Logo.jpg
    RIC is located in Virginia
    RIC is located in the US
    Location of airport in Virginia / United States
Airport type Public
Owner/Operator Capital Region Airport Commission
Serves Richmond, Virginia
Location Sandston, Virginia, U.S.
Elevation AMSL 167 ft / 50.9 m
Coordinates 37°30′18″N 077°19′10″W / 37.50500°N 77.31944°W / 37.50500; -77.31944
Direction Length Surface
ft m
16/34 9,003 2,744 Asphalt
2/20 6,607 2,014 Asphalt
7/25 5,326 1,623 Asphalt
Statistics (2015)
Aircraft operations 99,067
Based aircraft 75
Passengers 3,688,199
Sources: Federal Aviation Administration[1] and RIC Airport.[2]
Richmond airport in 1984. Then it was the 4th largest airport in Virginia.

Richmond International Airport (IATA: RICICAO: KRICFAA LID: RIC) is a joint civil-military public airport in Sandston, Virginia, an unincorporated community (within Henrico County). The airport is about 7 miles (11 km) southeast of downtown Richmond, the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Richmond International Airport is the busiest airport in central Virginia and the third busiest in the state behind Washington D.C's two major airports, Washington–Dulles and Washington–National. It is the 64th largest airport in the United States falling behind Memphis International Airport and T. F. Green Airport (located in RI).


Seven commercial air carriers currently serve RIC, with non-stop flights to 22 destinations, and connecting flights to other countries. An estimated record 3,630,000 passengers used RIC in 2007. In October 2016 RIC reported its 32nd straight month of growth, with nearly 330,000 travelers that month. On December 8, 2016 One Jet announced non-stop service from Richmond to Pittsburgh International Airport, they will operate 2 daily flights onboard the Hawker 400. The airline has also hinted at adding service from Richmond to Albany International Airport.[3]

To help accommodate the current and proposed increase in passengers and air service, RIC has embarked on a major expansion program. It has increased the number of gates to 28 (plus numerous non-jet bridge gates), added parking spaces (to 8,500), and created a new terminal roadway and air traffic control tower. The project features major renovations of the terminal building, including upper-level departures and lower-level arrivals, the construction of a central utility plant, and the widening of security checkpoints. Construction on the renovated two-level terminal was completed in spring 2007, and was designed by Gresham, Smith & Partners.[4]

In 2016, Richmond International Airport handled over 63,000 tons of cargo, an all-time high. Cargo services offered at the airport include more than 100,000 square feet (10,000 m2) of warehouse/office space and 1,000,000 square feet (100,000 m2) of apron space. The airport is designated a Foreign Trade Zone. Because of its position on the Eastern Seaboard, cargo transit via RIC is on the rise. Goods shipped out of the metropolitan Richmond area can reach 68% of the U.S. population within 24 hours.

2016 was a record breaking year for RIC. The most western flight ever from RIC started on United Airlines, to Denver International Airport. And Delta begun serving Richmond with larger aircraft on its 7 routes (planes were Boeing 757, Boeing 737, E170, and CRJ900. American Airlines, recently merged with US Airways started more flights to PHL, ORD, LGA, and DFW. jetBlue started 3 more daily flights to MCO . Two new airlines were welcomed into RIC, Allegiant, and One Jet. Piedmont Airlines will open up a hub in RIC, 5 jets are based in RIC doing daily flights to PHL, and LGA. Piedmont did a 2 million dollar renovation of one of the hangars at RIC.


Byrd Field in 1952

The airport was dedicated as Richard Evelyn Byrd Flying Field in 1927 in honor of aviator Richard E. Byrd, brother of then Gov. Harry F. Byrd. Charles Lindbergh attended the dedication ceremony. Although the facility was in Henrico County, Richmond Mayor John Fulmer Bright was instrumental in the creation of Byrd Field, which was initially owned by the City of Richmond. It was renamed Richard E. Byrd Airport in 1950, and became Richmond International Airport in 1984.

The current president and CEO of the airport is Jon Mathiasen. Since 1975, it has been owned and operated by the Capital Region Airport Commission, a Commonwealth-created governmental agency overseen by representatives of Chesterfield, Hanover, and Henrico counties, and the City of Richmond.

A terminal building designed by Marcellus Wright and Son was completed in 1950.[5] It was expanded from 1968 to 1970, which included the current passenger concourses.[6]

The April 1957 Official Airline Guide shows 43 weekday departures: 22 on Eastern, 10 Piedmont, 5 American, 4 National, and 2 Capital.

Airport statistics[edit]

In 2007, the airport served 3,634,544 passengers, a record for the airport; a 10.3% increase over 2006.[7] RIC is the third-busiest airport in Virginia, after Washington Dulles and Ronald Reagan Washington.

In October 2016, RIC served 322,267 passengers. Delta was the largest carrier with 35.14%, and United had 15.07% Other carrier were: American (29.67%), Southwest (6.99%), JetBlue (11.46%), Allegiant (3.11%), and Vacation Express (0.10%) [8]

Richmond International has 75 based aircraft; 21 are single-engine, 21 multi-engine, and 33 jets.[9]

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Airlines Destinations Refs
Allegiant Air Jacksonville, Orlando/Sanford, St. Petersburg/Clearwater [10]
American Airlines Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth [11]
American Eagle Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Miami, New York–LaGuardia, Philadelphia [11]
Delta Air Lines Atlanta [12]
Delta Connection Boston, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York–JFK, New York–LaGuardia
Seasonal: Orlando
JetBlue Airways Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando [13]
operated by CFM
Pittsburgh [14]
Southwest Airlines Atlanta
Seasonal: Orlando
United Airlines Chicago–O'Hare, Denver (begins June 8, 2017) [16]
United Express Chicago–O'Hare, Denver (ends June 7, 2017), Houston–Intercontinental, Newark, Washington–Dulles [16]


Airlines Destinations
DHL Express
operated by Air Cargo Carriers
DHL Express
operated by Suburban Air Freight
FedEx Express Indianapolis, Knoxville, Memphis
UPS Airlines Louisville, Norfolk, Philadelphia


Top destinations[edit]

Busiest domestic routes from RIC (Aug 2015 – July 2016)[17]
Rank Airport Passengers Carriers
1 Atlanta, Georgia 578,000 Delta, Southwest
2 Charlotte, North Carolina 259,000 American, US Airways
3 Boston, Massachusetts 251,000 Delta, JetBlue
4 Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois 149,000 American, United
5 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 120,000 American
6 New York–LaGuardia, New York 102,000 American, Delta
7 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 92,000 American, US Airways
8 Orlando, Florida 77,000 Delta, JetBlue, Southwest
9 Newark, New Jersey 69,000 United
10 Detroit, Michigan 68,000 Delta

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • In 1951: Eastern Airlines Flight 601 bound from Newark to Miami suffered severe buffeting after an access door opened in flight over Lynchburg, Virginia and the crew decided to divert to Richmond. A flap-less wheels-up landing was made a few miles short of the runway at Curles Neck Farm because the crew feared that the aircraft would disintegrate before they could get to the airport to attempt an emergency landing. There were no fatalities.
  • In 1961: Imperial Airlines Flight 201/8 was destroyed when it crashed and burned following an attempted emergency landing at the airport, all 74 passengers, and two of the 5 crew members died.
  • In 1996, Eastwind Airlines Flight 517 from Trenton, New Jersey, experienced loss of rudder control while on approach to Richmond; however, control was regained shortly after, and the aircraft landed normally.[18] There was one minor injury.
  • In 2011, a private twin engine, Piper Navajo, crashed after take-off. Only the pilot was on board at the time of the crash.[19] The pilot suffered burns and was immediately taken to a hospital.

Virginia Air National Guard[edit]

Until October 2007, the 192d Fighter Wing (192 FW), an Air Combat Command (ACC)-gained unit of the Virginia Air National Guard, maintained an Air National Guard station, operating F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft from the airport. In late 2007, pursuant to BRAC 2005 action, the 192 FW relinquished its F-16C and F-16D aircraft and moved to Langley AFB (now Joint Base Langley-Eustis), to integrate with the Regular Air Force as an associate unit to the 1st Fighter Wing (1 FW) flying the F-22 Raptor. The former Richmond International Airport Air National Guard Station property was transferred to the Department of the Army in support of U.S. Army Reserve and Virginia Army National Guard activities.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Airport Master Records and Reports". AirportIQ 5010. Retrieved 19 February 2016. 
  2. ^ "Richmond International Airport Aviation Activity Report" (PDF). Retrieved 19 February 2016. 
  3. ^ "OneJet to begin nonstop service between RIC and Pittsburgh". December 8, 2016. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Airport Design, Architecture and Interior Design – Gresham, Smith and Partners". Retrieved November 15, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Terminal Building, Richard E. Byrd Airport, Richmond, Virginia: Rarely Seen Richmond". Virginia Commonwealth University. Retrieved November 15, 2013. 
  6. ^ "History". Capital Region Airport Commission. Retrieved January 22, 2015. 
  7. ^ Dunham, Linda (January 30, 2008). "Richmond airport's growth flying high". Richmond Times-Dispatch. 
  8. ^ Bacqué, Peter. "Richmond airport's November passenger traffic down 0.5 percent". Retrieved November 15, 2013. 
  9. ^ [1][dead link]
  10. ^ "Allegiant Air". Retrieved 7 January 2017. 
  11. ^ a b "Flight schedules and notifications". Retrieved 7 January 2017. 
  12. ^ a b "FLIGHT SCHEDULES". Retrieved 7 January 2017. 
  13. ^ "JetBlue Airlines Timetable". Retrieved 29 January 2017. 
  14. ^ "OneJet". Retrieved 7 January 2017. 
  15. ^ "Check Flight Schedules". Retrieved 7 January 2017. 
  16. ^ a b "Timetable". Retrieved 7 January 2017. 
  17. ^ "RITA | BTS | Transtats". Retrieved June 21, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Aircraft accident Boeing 737-2H5 N221US Richmond, VA". Aviation Safety Network. June 9, 1996. Archived from the original on October 21, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Plane Crashes at Richmond International Airport – WRIC Richmond News and Weather". November 9, 2013. Retrieved November 15, 2013. 
  20. ^ John Pike. "Richmond International Airport / Byrd Field". Retrieved November 15, 2013. 

External links[edit]