Closest Airports Near the Outer Banks of North Carolina

While most people drive the entire distance to the chain of barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina known as the Outer Banks, some choose to fly a portion of the way instead.

Unless you have access to a small, two to five-person non-commercial airplane, you should book your flight for either the airport in Norfolk or near Raleigh.

Here is some additional info on the two major airports that are located in close proximity to the Outer Banks.

Norfolk International Airport to Outer Banks NC

Norfolk International Airport

Distance from Kitty Hawk, NC:About 80 Miles
Drive Time to Outer Banks:About 1.5 Hours (Depending on Traffic Conditions)

American Airlines, Delta, Southwest and United Airlines all fly into this relativity small international airport located near the coast in southeastern Virginia. Norfolk Intentional Airport is the closest in proximity to the Outer Banks of any major airport. Most people who are traveling to the OBX by plane fly into Norfolk.

There are opportunities to rent a car to drive from the airport to your vacation rental home, condo or hotel on the barrier islands. You can of course also schedule a taxi or Uber driver if you won’t be needing a car during your vacation.

It takes about an hour-and-a-half to three hours to reach Kitty Hawk from Norfolk International based on the time of year and traffic conditions. If you arrive in the afternoon on a Saturday in the summer, expect your journey to the OBX to take close to three hours.

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Norfolk International Airport
2200 Norview Ave
Norfolk, VA 23518

raleigh durham international airport to outer banks nc

Raleigh–Durham International Airport

Distance from Nags Head, NC: About 210 Miles
Drive Time to Outer Banks: About 3.25 Hours

A much bigger and nicer airport than the one in Norfolk, Raleigh-Durham International Airport is about a three-and-a-half-hour drive from the town of Nags Head, NC.

Fewer people who are traveling to the OBX fly into this airport, however, the trip along US 64 can be much more enjoyable than the journey along US 158 from Norfolk to Kitty Hawk. Although Norfolk International is closer in proximity to the Outer Banks than Raleigh-Durham International, it may take longer to reach the barrier islands given the traffic conditions on Us 158.

If you want to spend a day exploring the area in central North Carolina, there is plenty to do in see in Raleigh and Durham! We recommend checking out Duke Gardens or the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science.

Raleigh-Durham International Airport
2400 John Brantley Blvd
Morrisville, NC 27560

Other, Smaller Airports on the Outer Banks

If you are fortunate enough to own your own small private airplane or have friends or family members that do, you should consider flying into one of these three smaller airports listed below:

Currituck County Regional Airport

Built by the United States Army Air Forces in 1942, the Currituck Regional Airport was used as an emergency landing airfield for military aircraft on training flights.

The airfield was closed after World War II and was later handed over to Currituck County who presently manages all airport operations.

Currituck County Regional Airport
264 Airport Road
Maple, NC 27956

First Flight Airport

Owned and operated by the U.S. National Park Service, First Flight Airport is located a stone's throw away from the Wright Brother’s National Memorial.

Mostly small Cessna aircraft use the runway nowadays. In the late-1800s and early-1900s, the Wright brothers conducted hundreds of pre-flight gliding experiments.

First Flight Airport
1000 N Croatan Highway
Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948

Dare County Regional Airport

Located in the town of Manteo on the northwestern portion of Roanoke Island, Dare County Regional Airport is the biggest of the three small airports we’ve listed. Small planes are constantly taking off and landing during the summer months with pilots either towing a banner advertisement behind their aircraft or giving passengers an aerial tour of the barrier islands.

Dare County Regional Airport
410 Airport Road
Manteo, NC 27954

No matter how you travel, you’re sure to have a memorable experience during your OBX getaway.

With unmatched natural beauty and a plethora of fun activities to choose from, the Outer Banks is one place you’ll love visiting time and time again!

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