The airfield was used by the Royal Air force during World War II as a base for its Lockheed Hudson, Vickers Wellington, Hawker Hurricane, and P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft. After the war the airfield was handed over to the government for civilian use and eventually came under the jusrisdiction of the Airports Authority of India (AAI). In the early '90s, Thanjavur was connected with Chennai via the Vayudoot Flight Service, which was stopped due to poor patronage. The IAF took over the airfield in March 1990. During the heavy floods in Tamil Nadu in November 2008, IAF helicopters operating from Thanjavur dropped 15,000 kg of relief materials to the affected areas.
The airport is situated at an elevation of 253 feet (77 m) above mean sea level. It has two runways with concrete surfaces: 07/25 measuring 5,680 by 150 feet (1,731 m × 46 m) and 14/32 measuring 4,757 by 150 feet (1,450 m × 46 m). Recent aerial photography only shows extension of Runway 07/25 to 9000 feet with parallel taxiway and aprons under construction.