Richmond International Airport

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Richmond International Airport
Airport typePublic
Owner/OperatorCapital Region Airport Commission
ServesCentral Virginia
LocationSandston, Virginia, U.S.
Elevation AMSL167 ft / 51 m
Coordinates37°30′18″N 077°19′10″W / 37.50500°N 77.31944°W / 37.50500; -77.31944
FAA airport diagram (2009)
FAA airport diagram (2009)
Direction Length Surface
ft m
16/34 9,003 2,744 Asphalt
02/20 6,607 2,014 Asphalt
Statistics (2023)
Aircraft operations104,952
Based aircraft72
Total cargo (lbs.)206,575,168
Sources: Federal Aviation Administration[1] and RIC Airport[2]
Richmond airport in 1984 when it was the fourth largest airport in Virginia

Richmond International Airport (IATA: RIC, ICAO: KRIC, FAA LID: RIC) is a joint civil-military airport in Sandston, Virginia, United States, an unincorporated community (in 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 Reagan and Washington Dulles.[3] RIC covers 2,500 acres (1,012 ha) of land.[1][4]


The Capital Region Airport Commission (CRAC) owns and operates Richmond International Airport. Established in 1975 by the Virginia General Assembly,[5] the commission is overseen by representatives of the counties of Chesterfield, Hanover, and Henrico, and the City of Richmond. RIC serves the Greater Richmond Region with non-stop flights to 26 destinations, served by seven air carriers. A joint civil-military public airport, RIC encompasses the former property of the Richmond International Airport Air National Guard Station, which was transferred to the Department of the Army in support of U.S. Army Reserves and Virginia Army National Guard Activities.[6]

In the early 2000s, Richmond saw another period of extensive growth, and in 2005 it announced a complete redesign. RIC went from a single story terminal with 12 gates to 22 gates (plus numerous non-jet bridge gates), added parking spaces (to 10,500), 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 two-level terminal was completed in spring 2007, and was designed by Gresham, Smith & Partners.[7] Due to passenger growth, Richmond reopened its international gate (B15) for flights to Cancun, Toronto and Punta Cana, all of which are seasonal services.

In 2016, Richmond recorded its second highest yearly passenger volume, and the airport had a major expansion begun in late 2018. The number of gates increased from 22 to 28 or 30 by adding 6 or 8 gates (net) to its A Concourse.[8] Construction commenced in late 2018 and lasted for 3 years. The expansion was completed in 2021.[9]

The airport also expanded the checkpoint area in Concourse B, from four to six TSA screening lanes. The TSA lane expansion commenced in the fall of 2018 and was completed in June 2019. Concourse A has three screening lanes in its checkpoint area, though that is likely to be expanded in the next few years. More construction at the airport is coming - the Capital Region Airport Commission is looking into moving the rental car counters from the central portion of the lower lobby level to an expanded north baggage claim area. The airport also expects to add an enclosed two-level connecting walkway between the terminal and the rental car garage.[10] The rental car garage is also set to expand.

In 2016, Richmond International Airport handled over 63,000 tons of cargo, an all-time high. Cargo services 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 72% of the U.S. population within 24 hours.

In 2016, RIC reported its 32nd consecutive month of growth, with an estimated 345,000 travelers reported in October 2016. Several airlines serving RIC have responded to growing demand with upgraded routes and aircraft. Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines added additional routes and larger aircraft in 2017. United Airlines up-gauged its Denver service to a mainline aircraft, replacing the Embraer E-175 used with United Express.

In 2017, the airport served 3,657,479 passengers, a record for the airport,[11] breaking its previous record of 3,634,544 in 2007. In 2018, RIC set a passenger record of 4,077,763, an 11.5% increase over 2017.[12] RIC is served by airlines flying primarily domestic routes to cities in the South, Northeast and Midwest, and connecting flights to major hubs for international destinations.


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 airport's manager from 1957 to 1988 was Anthony E. Dowd, Sr.[13]

A terminal building designed by Marcellus Wright and Son was completed in 1950.[14] It was expanded from 1968 to 1970, which included the current passenger concourses.[15]

The April 1957 Official Airline Guide lists 43 weekday departures: 22 on Eastern Air Lines, ten on Piedmont Airlines, five on American Airlines, four on National Airlines and two on Capital Airlines.

In the mid-1970s United Airlines scheduled a daily round trip between Richmond and Los Angeles (LAX) with a Douglas DC-8-61 via Washington–Dulles.[16][17] The DC-8-61 was most likely the largest passenger airliner ever scheduled to the airport. United was also flying Boeing 727-200s and Boeing 737-200s to the airport, including nonstop flights to Washington–National in addition to Dulles.[16] Other airlines at Richmond in 1975 included Eastern Air Lines operating Boeing 727s and McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30s with nonstops from Atlanta, New York–JFK, New York–LaGuardia and Raleigh/Durham; and Piedmont Airlines operating Boeing 737-200s and NAMC YS-11s nonstop from Charleston (WV), Chicago–O'Hare, Huntington, Lynchburg (VA), Newport News, Norfolk, Raleigh/Durham, Roanoke, Rocky Mount/Wilson, and Washington–National.[16] Altair Airlines, a commuter air carrier, was serving Richmond with Beechcraft 99s nonstop from Baltimore, Philadelphia and Wilmington, DE.[16]

The February 15, 1985 OAG listed five airlines serving Richmond with jet aircraft including Delta Air Lines, Eastern Air Lines, Piedmont Airlines, United Airlines and USAir.[18] Delta was operating Boeing 737-200s and McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30s nonstop from Atlanta; Eastern was operating Boeing 727-100s, McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30s and McDonnell Douglas DC-9-50s nonstop from Atlanta, Charlotte, Greensboro, New York–JFK and New York–LaGuardia; Piedmont was operating Boeing 727-200s, Boeing 737-200s and Fokker F28 Fellowships nonstop from Baltimore, Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Greensboro, Kinston (NC), Louisville, New York–LaGuardia, Norfolk and Philadelphia, United was operating Boeing 727-100 and Boeing 727-200 nonstop from Baltimore, Chicago–O'Hare and Norfolk, and USAir was operating BAC One-Elevens and McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30s nonstop from Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Four commuter and regional airlines were at Richmond, including Air Virginia which was operating a hub at the airport flying Swearingen Metroliners nonstop from Baltimore, Charlottesville (VA), Lynchburg (VA), New Bern (NC), Newport News, New York–LaGuardia, Newark, Norfolk, Philadelphia, Raleigh/Durham, Roanoke, and Washington–National; Delta Connection operated by Comair with nonstop Saab 340s and Swearingen Metroliners operated on a code sharing basis for Delta from Roanoke; Piedmont Regional Airlines operating Beechcraft 99, de Havilland Canada DHC-7 Dash 7 and Short 330 turboprops with nonstop service flown on a code sharing basis for Piedmont from Baltimore, Newport News, Norfolk and Roanoke; and Wheeler Airlines operating Beechcraft 99 turboprops nonstop from Danville (VA), Raleigh/Durham, Washington–National and Wilmington (DE).[18] By 1986 Wheeler Airlines had a small hub at the airport and had added nonstop flights from Charleston (WV) and Parkersburg (WV).[19]

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Allegiant Air Nashville, Orlando/Sanford, St. Petersburg/Clearwater
Seasonal: Punta Gorda (FL)[20]
American Airlines Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami [22]
American Eagle Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, New York–LaGuardia, Philadelphia [22]
Breeze Airways Charleston (SC), Hartford, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New Orleans, San Francisco, Tampa
Seasonal: Fort Myers, Jacksonville (FL),[23] Long Island/Islip, Phoenix–Sky Harbor
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Boston, Detroit [26][better source needed]
Delta Connection Boston, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul,[27] New York–JFK, New York–LaGuardia [26]
JetBlue Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando[28]
Southwest Airlines Atlanta, Baltimore (begins June 4, 2024),[29] Chicago–Midway, Denver,[30] Nashville (begins June 4, 2024)[31][32]
Spirit Airlines Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Orlando
Seasonal: Fort Myers, Tampa
Sun Country Airlines Seasonal: Minneapolis/St. Paul [34]
United Airlines Chicago–O'Hare, Denver
Seasonal: Houston–Intercontinental
United Express Chicago–O'Hare, Houston–Intercontinental, Newark, Washington–Dulles [35]
Destinations map


Amazon Air Cincinnati, Fort Worth/Alliance, Lakeland,[36] San Bernardino,[37] San Juan,[38] Wilmington (OH)[39]
DHL Aviation Cincinnati, Greensboro
FedEx Express Indianapolis, Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville
UPS Airlines Baltimore, Louisville, Norfolk, Philadelphia, Washington-Dulles


Top domestic routes[edit]

Busiest domestic routes from RIC
(December 2022 - November 2023)
Rank Airport Passengers Carriers
1 Georgia (U.S. state) Atlanta, Georgia 513,240 Delta, Southwest
2 North Carolina Charlotte, North Carolina 326,410 American
3 Texas Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 130,580 American
4 Massachusetts Boston, Massachusetts 125,050 Delta, JetBlue
5 Illinois Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois 123,150 American, United
6 New York (state) New York–LaGuardia, New York 123,070 American, Delta
7 Florida Orlando, Florida 108,980 JetBlue, Spirit
8 Florida Fort Lauderdale, Florida 103,000 JetBlue, Spirit
9 Colorado Denver, Colorado 101,090 Southwest, United
10 New Jersey Newark, New Jersey 74,590 United

Airline market share[edit]

Top airlines at RIC (December 2022 – November 2023)[40]
Rank Airline Passenger Percent of market share
1 American Airlines 1,025,000 21.65%
2 Delta Air Lines 841,000 17.77%
3 Southwest Airlines 383,000 8.09%
4 JetBlue 365,000 7.72%
5 United Airlines 347,000 7.33%
Other 1,772,000 37.45%


Annual passenger traffic at RIC airport. See Wikidata query.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On May 16, 1946, a Douglas C-47 operated by Viking Air Transport crashed 6.3 miles south of Richmond-Byrd Field due to engine issues. All 27 on board were killed.[41]
  • On July 19, 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 flapless 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.[42]
  • On November 8, 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 three of the five crew members died.
  • On July 16, 1964: An Eastern Airlines DC-7B N809D with 76 occupants bound from New York touched down short of Runway 15, suffered a right main gear collapse and slid for 4752 feet. There were no injuries, but the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.[43]
  • On May 6, 1980, a Gates Learjet 23, N866JS, rolled inverted landing on Runway 33. The aircraft crashed adjacent to the runway at 03:12 and burst into flame. Both pilots were killed.[44]
  • On June 9, 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.[45] There was one minor injury.


Virginia Army National Guard[edit]

A UH-72 outside of the Facility's main hangar, preparing for a border security deployment

Richmond International Airport serves as an Aviation Support Facility for the Virginia Army National Guard 224th Aviation Regiment. The Army National Guard currently has 25 helicopters including 18 UH-60's, 3 HH-60's, and 4 UH-72's based at the facility. The facility also has 1 C-12 Huron which serves a cargo/passenger transport role.[46]

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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b FAA Airport Form 5010 for RIC PDF effective August 2022
  2. ^ "RIC Airport Aviation Activity Data for 2023" (PDF). Retrieved February 1, 2024.
  3. ^ BTS Transtats
  4. ^ "RIC airport data at". Retrieved September 1, 2022.
  5. ^ "Capital Region Airport Commission - Richmond International Airport". Archived from the original on June 23, 2017. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  6. ^ John Pike. "Richmond International Airport / Byrd Field". Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  7. ^ "Airport Design, Architecture and Interior Design – Gresham, Smith and Partners". Archived from the original on December 2, 2013. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  8. ^ Zullo, Robert. "Expansion at Richmond International's Concourse A on the horizon". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  9. ^ "Richmond International Airport Concourse A Expansion | Architect Magazine". Retrieved December 31, 2023.
  10. ^ CLINE, ALEXANDRA (June 16, 2018). "Expansion of Richmond International Airport's Concourse A should begin later this year". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved February 22, 2020.
  11. ^ "News - Richmond International Airport". Archived from the original on February 2, 2018.
  12. ^ "Richmond International Airport Records Record Year, Contract Let for Concourse A Expansion". January 29, 2019. Retrieved February 22, 2020.
  13. ^ Richmond Times-Dispatch, ELLEN ROBERTSON (July 23, 2015). "Anthony E. "Tony" Dowd, who helped put the "international" at Richmond's airport, dies at 90". Retrieved May 19, 2018.
  14. ^ "Terminal Building, Richard E. Byrd Airport, Richmond, Virginia: Rarely Seen Richmond". Virginia Commonwealth University. Archived from the original on March 9, 2016. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  15. ^ "History". Capital Region Airport Commission. Archived from the original on March 8, 2016. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  16. ^ a b c d, April 15, 1975 Official Airline Guide
  17. ^, June 6, 1976 United Airlines timetable
  18. ^ a b, Feb. 15, 1985 Official Airline Guide
  19. ^, Feb. 15, 1986 Wheeler Airlines route map
  20. ^ "Allegiant announces nonstop flights to Punta Gorda starting at $65". November 12, 2019. Archived from the original on November 13, 2019. Retrieved February 22, 2020.
  21. ^ "Allegiant Air". Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  22. ^ a b "Flight schedules and notifications". Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  23. ^ "Breeze Airways no longer adding flights from Richmond to Raleigh-Durham". WTVR. December 7, 2022. Retrieved December 7, 2022.
  24. ^ "Destinations". Breeze Airways. Retrieved January 17, 2023.
  25. ^ "Breeze Airways adds seasonal and new routes from Fort Myers". FOX 4 Southwest Florida. July 18, 2023. Retrieved July 18, 2023.
  26. ^ a b "FLIGHT SCHEDULES". Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  27. ^ @IshrionA (December 17, 2022). "NEW: Delta Air Lines retaliates against Sun Country with the addition of two routes" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  28. ^ "JetBlue Airlines Timetable". Archived from the original on July 13, 2013. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  29. ^ "Southwest Airlines Will Add One of Its New Shortest Routes". Ishrion Aviation. Retrieved April 9, 2024.
  30. ^ "Southwest just announced 5 new and 24 returning routes this year as it bolsters its network— see the full list". Business Insider. Retrieved February 9, 2023.
  31. ^ "Southwest Airlines Extends Flight Schedule Through Early November". February 8, 2024. Retrieved February 8, 2024.
  32. ^ "Check Flight Schedules". Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  33. ^ "Where We Fly". Spirit Airlines. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  34. ^ "Route Map". Archived from the original on August 15, 2018. Retrieved January 25, 2021.
  35. ^ a b "Timetable". Archived from the original on January 28, 2017. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  36. ^ "Lakeland". Flightradar24. Retrieved March 30, 2021.
  37. ^ "FlightRadar24 SBD Cargo Flight". Flightradar24. Retrieved January 24, 2024.
  38. ^ "San Juan". Flightradar24. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  39. ^ "KILN, Wilmington". Flightradar24. Retrieved February 16, 2024.
  40. ^ a b "RITA | Transtats". Retrieved June 11, 2023.
  41. ^ Accident description for NC53218 at the Aviation Safety Network
  42. ^ Accident description for N119A at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on March 12, 2023.
  43. ^ "Aircraft accident Eastern Airlines DC-7B, Richmond, VA". Aviation Safety Network. July 16, 1964.
  44. ^ "Aircraft accident Learjet 23 N866JS, Richmond, VA". Aviation Safety Network. May 6, 1980.
  45. ^ "Aircraft accident Boeing 737-2H5 N221US Richmond, VA". Aviation Safety Network. June 9, 1996. Archived from the original on October 21, 2012.
  46. ^ "Army Aviation Support Facility". Retrieved August 28, 2022.

External links[edit]