A Guide to Airports in North Carolina (2024)

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Stefanie Waldek

A Guide to Airports in North Carolina (1)

Stefanie Waldek

Stefanie Waldek is a Brooklyn-based travel writer with over six years of experience. She covers various destinations, hotels, and travel products for TripSavvy.

Updated on 12/29/20

Fact checked by

Jillian Dara

A Guide to Airports in North Carolina (2)

Fact checked byJillian Dara

Emerson College

Jillian Dara is a freelance journalist and fact-checker. Her work has appeared in Travel + Leisure, USA Today, Michelin Guides, Hemispheres, DuJour, and Forbes.


There are four international airports and several regional airports in the state of North Carolina. Many of the flights to and from the regional airports connect through Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, the busiest airport in the state.

Charlotte-Douglas International Airport (CLT)

A Guide to Airports in North Carolina (3)

  • Location: West of Charlotte
  • Pros: Huge variety of flight options, as it's a hub for American Airlines
  • Cons: Massive airport means you might have a long walk for connections
  • Distance to Uptown Charlotte: A flat-rate taxi to Uptown Charlotte costs $25 and takes 15 minutes. The Charlotte Area Trait System (CATS) offers a bus service for $2.20 each way—the ride takes 20 minutes or so.

Charlotte-Douglas International Airport is American Airlines second largest hub after Dallas-Fort Worth and the busiest airport in North Carolina, handling more than 50 million passengers each year. The airport is a joint civil-military operation, home of the Charlotte Air National Guard Base. It's also home to the Overlook, an area where the public can watch the planes land and take off, and the Carolinas Aviation Museum. Ground transportation includes taxis and public buses.

Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU)

A Guide to Airports in North Carolina (4)

  • Location: Cedar Fork
  • Pros: Modern terminals with great facilities and an easy-to-navigate layout
  • Cons: Some but not all routes require layovers.
  • Distance to Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill: Taxis to these three cities range in price from $25 to $40 depending on how far your precise destination is. Drive times range from 15 to 30 minutes. You can also take a bus from either terminal to the Regional Transit Center, where you can catch buses to many destinations in the area.

Serving over 14 million passengers in 2019, Raleigh-Durham International Airport is a surprisingly large and busy airport for a relatively small metropolitan region (the Research Triangle area has a population of about two million people). Numerous airlines serve the airport, including American, Delta, Frontier, and Southwest, and they fly to 57 nonstop destinations. That said, many flights do connect in hub cities. International routes include London, Paris, Toronto, Mexico, and several Caribbean destinations. There isn't great public transportation to the airport—you'll have to take a connecting bus through the Regional Transit Center—but taxis are relatively reasonable.

*Editor's note: due to COVID-19, some nonstop and international flights have been cancelled, check the website for the most up-to-date routes.

Piedmont Triad International Airport (GSO)

  • Location: West of Greensboro
  • Pros: Not crowded, reasonable airfare to major U.S. cities
  • Cons: Many routes require layovers.
  • Distance to Downtown Greensboro: A 20-minute taxi to downtown Greensboro will cost about $25. You can also take a shuttle to the Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation (PART) hub, from which you can catch public buses to destinations throughout the region.

This international airport serves the North Carolina cities of Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point with annual passenger traffic over one million people. It flies to 14 destinations nonstop, including New York, Miami, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Washington, D.C. While the airport is great because it's not very crowded, it's not easy to get to via public transportation—you'll have to take a bus to a regional transportation center, then take a shuttle from there.

Wilmington International Airport (ILM)

  • Location: Wrightsboro
  • Pros: Not crowded
  • Cons: Limited flight options
  • Distance to Downtown Wilmington: A 15-minute taxi to downtown Wilmington will cost about $15.

Serving just under one million people per year, Wilmington International Airport operates a handful of daily flights with American, Delta, and United. It flies to eight destinations nonstop, so most flights will require a layover. There's a 24-hour U.S. Customs and Border Protection ramp, which means that international charter flights can fly into Wilmington at any time. Most people drive or take taxis to and from the airport, but a public bus does stop at the terminal.

Asheville Regional Airport (AVL)

  • Location: South of Asheville
  • Pros: Not crowded
  • Cons: Limited flight options
  • Distance to Downtown Asheville: A 25-minute taxi to downtown Asheville will cost about $35. The public bus takes about 35 minutes and costs $1.

All three major U.S. airlines fly into Asheville, as do budget airlines Spirit and Allegiant. There are nonstop routes to Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, New York (Newark), Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C., with seasonal service to destinations in Florida. While there is a public bus that connects the airport with downtown Asheville, most travelers drive or take taxis.

Coastal Carolina Regional Airport (EWN)

  • Location: South of New Bern
  • Pros: Not crowded
  • Cons: Limited flight options
  • Distance to Downtown New Bern: There are limited transportation options, thus it's best to take taxis, which will cost about $15 and take about 10 minutes.

American and Delta offer up to 10 flights out of Coastal Carolina Regional Airport each day, serving about 200,000 passengers annually. The airport has an outdoor sculpture garden.

Albert J. Ellis Airport (OAJ)

  • Location: Richlands
  • Pros: Not crowded
  • Cons: Limited flight options
  • Distance to Downtown Jacksonville: A 20-minute taxi to downtown Jacksonville will cost approximately $30.

Delta Connection and American Eagle are the two commercial airlines that fly out of Albert J. Ellis Airport to their hubs in Atlanta and Charlotte, respectively. There is a restaurant, café, and gift shop in the main terminal.

Fayetteville Regional Airport (FAY)

  • Location: South Fayetteville
  • Pros: Not crowded
  • Cons: Limited flight options
  • Distance to Downtown Fayetteville: A 15-minute taxi will cost about $20.

Delta and American airlines fly out of Fayetteville Airport to their hubs in Atlanta and Charlotte, respectively.

Pitt-Greenville Airport (PGV)

  • Location: North Greenville
  • Pros: Not crowded
  • Cons: Limited flight options
  • Distance to Uptown Greenville: A five-minute taxi will cost less than $10.

American Eagle operates a flight to Charlotte out of Pitt-Greenville Airport.

Article Sources

TripSavvy uses only high-quality, trusted sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.

  1. CLT Airport. "Charlotte Douglas International Airport." Retrieved December 29, 2020.

  2. RDU. "Raleigh-Durham International Airport." Retrieved December 29, 2020.

  3. Fly From PTI. "Airport Boards 1 million passengers in 2019." Retrieved Dec. 29, 2020.

  4. Fly ILM. "Wilmington Airport Customs Information." Retrieved December 29, 2020.

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