A Guide to Airports in North Carolina

Welcome to Charlotte
Ken Lund/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

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)

  • 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 Transit System (CATS) offers a bus service for $2.20 each way—the ride takes 20 minuets or so.

Charlotte-Douglas International Airport is American Airline's second largest hub after Dallas-Fort Worth and the busiest airport in North Carolina, handling more than 46 million passengers each year. The airport is a joint civil-military operation, home 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)

  • 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 nearly 13 million passengers per year, 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 2 million people). Numerous airlines serve the airport, including American, Delta, Frontier, and Southwest, and they fly to 68 nonstop destinations. That said, many flights do connect in hub cities. International routes include London, Paris, Toronto, Mexico, and several Caribbean destinations.

There's not great public transportation to the airport—you'll have to take a connecting bus through the Regional Transit Center—but taxis are relatively reasonable.

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 reaching nearly two million people. It flies to 16 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 US 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—it costs $2 each way.

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: The only ground transportation option is 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 are 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, American, and United are the three commercial airlines that fly out of Fayetteville Airport to their hubs in Atlanta, Charlotte, and Washington, D.C., 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.

Was this page helpful?