What are the airports close to the Outer Banks, NC?


6 min read
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A beautiful sandy beach with blue water and a white house and lighthouse on the shore
Cape Lookout Lighthouse on the Southern Outer Banks

Are you visiting the Outer Banks in North Carolina soon and are unsure if you should fly or drive here? If you are flying, are you confused about which airport to land at?

If the above questions resonate with you, then the simple answer to your question 'how to get to the Outer Banks' will vary depending on where you will be staying on this 200-mile-long string of stunning islands.

While some people drive to the Outer Banks, getting here and around the islands is relatively straightforward. Flying in especially can be convenient if you can afford a smaller charter flight, or if you use a regional airport, like Coastal Carolina Regional Airport.

If you're flying in from an international destination, you can use one of the two nearby international airports, Norfolk International Airport (82 miles north) or Raleigh Durham International Airport (192 miles west).

If you can afford a smaller, non-commercial airplane, there are quite a few regional airports located directly on the Outer Banks islands, such as Pine Island Airport and others.

The list below covers all the airports close to the Outer Banks, NC, so you can easily find one that meets your needs. As mentioned previously, the airports in the area service both commercial and private aircraft.

  • 9 airports

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North Carolina Airports Map

Using the map of North Carolina, you can explore all the airports.

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An airplane landing at one of the airports close to the Outer Banks, NC
Norfolk International Airport is one of the airports close to the Outer Banks, NC

Norfolk International Airport, Norfolk, Virginia

Norfolk International Airport is located in Norfolk, Virginia. It was established in 1936 and offers international flights and domestic flights from all over the United States. The airport code is ORF, and United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, and Delta Air Lines all fly into this airport.

Norfolk International Airport is the most popular place to land when planning an Outer Banks vacation because the airport is less than 20 miles away from the islands. Kitty Hawk is 80 miles away, a 1.5-hour drive, making it a viable option for travelers.

The airport is full service - it has bars, restaurants, cafes, taxis, car rental facilities, and buses, all easily accessible from the airport.

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A grey sky behind a green airport highway sign from below
Raleigh–Durham International Airport Highway Sign

Raleigh–Durham International Airport, Morrisville, NC

Raleigh–Durham International Airport is located in Morrisville, just northeast of Raleigh. The airport is about a 4-hour drive from Kitty Hawk, and it functions as an airport with limited international flights for travelers who want to fly into North Carolina.

The airport code is RDU. Southwest, Delta, United, Air Canada, and many other large airlines fly in and out of Raleigh–Durham International Airport.

The airport is also a transportation hub with bus service to Raleigh's Greyhound station and Amtrak train service to Durham Station in Downtown Durham. This is useful for those who want to explore more of North Carolina.

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Coastal Carolina Regional Airport terminal at dusk

Coastal Carolina Regional Airport, New Bern, NC

Coastal Carolina Regional Airport (airport code EWN) is a commercial airport serviced by major airlines, such as American Airlines. It is situated about 3 miles southeast of the historic city of New Bern. New Bern is home to many icons, including Nicholas Sparks and the birthplace of Pepsi Cola.

This airport is the closest airport to Cape Lookout, both Ocracoke Ferry terminals, and is closer to the Outer Banks (via Manteo) by 50 miles than RDU.

As one of the Southeast's most accessible and convenient regional airports, visitors are welcomed with national seashores, charming old lighthouses, and wild horses upon arrival.

Coastal Carolina Airport is the gateway to the endless treasures the Outer Banks provides. The Outer Banks contains several historical attractions, like The Wright Brothers Museum and more.

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Brigadier General Billy Mitchell, the person who the airport was named after

Billy Mitchell Airport, Frisco, NC

Billy Mitchell Airport is for smaller private and commercial aircraft. It is not serviced by the major domestic and international airlines. Billy Mitchell Airport is in Frisco, NC, and the airport code is HNC.

Billy Mitchell Airport is the second most remote airport in the Outer Banks and does not offer many facilities. The airport was named after a pilot from World War I who lived here, and it is managed by the National Park Service and the NC Department of Aviation.

The airport had 9,200 aircraft operations in 2016 (that's 25 per day on average). 98% of those flights were for general aviation, and the remaining 2% (split evenly) were for air taxis and the military.

If you are arriving during the dark (late night or early morning), you won't be able to land at Billy Mitchell Airport and will need to divert to Dare County Regional Airport instead.

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Dare County Regional Airport, Manteo, NC

Dare County Regional Airport, with the airport code MQI, is a 340-acre airport in Manteo, North Carolina. It features two runways that also offer night time service, and it has an adjacent location to the incredible North Carolina Aquariums - which means you can do some underwater exploring; before jetting off on your island adventure!

Dare County Regional Airport is for smaller private and commercial aircraft. It is not serviced by the major domestic and international airlines. Taxi service and rental cars are available for travelers who want their own set of wheels for their trip.

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A white lighthouse on the right surrounded by dark clouds and black tree shadows
The lighthouse at Ocracoke Island, Outer Banks, North Carolina

Ocracoke Island Airport, Ocracoke, NC

As its name suggests, Ocracoke Island Airport is located near Ocracoke Island - an island less than a mile away from the Outer Banks. Ocracoke Island Airport is mainly used by private planes and helicopters. No commercial airlines service Ocracoke Island Airport and the airport doesn't have a set flight schedule.

If you are planning to fly a private aircraft to the airport, you will need to contact them directly as soon as possible if your plans change or if you want to fly into Ocracoke Island Airport on short notice.

This airport doesn't have any set facilities like a terminal; there are no amenities here - just fuel for your plane and other aircraft if needed. So, be prepared!

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Pine Island Airport, Corolla, NC

The Pine Island Airport is small and isn't open to the public. It has been closed to the public since December 2019, and there are no facilities or services at this airstrip.

The airport is only for private use. Atlantic Realty of the Outer Banks manages the airport. To use the airstrip, contact Atlantic Realty of the Outer Banks.

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A house surrounded by a lighthouse and trees from below
Currituck Beach Lighthouse, a few miles from the airport

Currituck County Regional Airport, Maple, NC

The Currituck Regional Airport in North Carolina is a publicly owned General Aviation airport open to the public. It is not serviced by the major domestic and international airlines, but it is a popular airport for private and charter flights.

The Currituck County Regional Airport, KONX (previously 9W7), has an exciting history that dates back to World War II. The federal government developed the airport from orders of the United States Army Air Force for military use in 1942 during WWII.

In 1972, the county agreed to lease the airport from North Carolina when it turned over all of its war assets after WWII ended. Currituck County then took control in the later years, managing everything about this historic site today!

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People walking on an airstrip surrounded by grass, trees and houses from above
The Wright Brothers Memorial at First Flight Airport

First Flight Airport, Kill Devil Hills, NC

First Flight Airport is a general aviation airport that services small planes and private jets. This airport offers domestic flights, scheduled service to locations in the United States, and air charter flights.

The airport code for this airport is FFA, and it is most famous for being the airport that houses the Wright Brothers National Memorial. A fun North Carolina fact is that this is where the first flight took off in the world (hence the name!).

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In Summary

Whether you’re looking to fly into the Outer Banks or stay close by one of the neighboring airports, hopefully, this article helped you decide which airport is best for your upcoming trip to these beautiful islands.

While it may seem like an easy decision, there are many factors to consider when deciding where to arrive and depart from when visiting the Outer Banks.

For some great articles about airports, check out:


Written by Loredana Elena

loredanaelena STAFF Since leaving Vancouver, Canada in January 2015, I have visited almost 45 countries. Currently based in London, UK and enjoying exploring Europe with my camera. I am also passionate about mental and physical health (fitness) and photography.


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