1862 (Civil War Era)
Both Union and Confederate aeronauts used tethered balloons for reconnaissance and artillery spotting from the area that is now the Richmond International Airport.
Dedicated on October 15, 1927, the airport was named after Virginia explorer-aviator Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd. Colonel Charles Lindbergh, with his famous aircraft The Spirit of St. Louis, was present as the airport's first official visitor.
Eastern Airlines began the first regularly scheduled passenger service at Byrd Field.
1942 (World War II Era)
The airport was used as an Army Air Corps base. During this period, the acreage and runway infrastructure for RIC were substantially expanded.
Airport expansion of the terminal, ramp area, runways, taxiways and parking lots cost $2.8 million. Four scheduled airlines served the airport: Eastern, National, Piedmont and United.
The first jumbo jet (DC-10) jetliner landed at Richard E. Byrd Airport and boarded 345 Virginia passengers bound for an American Legion convention.
The Capital Region Airport Commission was created pursuant to Chapter 537 of the 1975 Acts of Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The airport was renamed Richmond International Airport.
Richmond International Airport became the world's first public airport to operate an advanced microwave landing system.
The terminal underwent a $5 million concourse expansion at Concourse A, increasing the number of gates to 14 and adding 8,700 square feet to the existing baggage claim area.
An expansion of Concourse B was completed, representing a 50 percent gate increase. The airport completed several more projects, including the addition of 1,300 public parking spaces in economy lot A, the relocation of Security Checkpoints and an extension of airport taxiways.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) dedicated a new Air Traffic Control Tower at RIC. The event was attended by Sen. John Warner, Congressmen Bobby Scott and Randy Forbes, FAA Eastern Region Administrator Arlene Feldman, Deputy Secretary of Transportation Ralph Davis (Commonwealth of Virginia), members of the Capital Region Airport Commission and other dignitaries.
In a nine-month span, Richmond International Airport welcomed the arrival of AirTran Airways and JetBlue Airways to Virginia's Capital Region, to the relief of travelers who had long cited non-competitive airfares as the area's highest-ranking business concern.
The airport completed construction of a multimillion-dollar renovation that expanded the terminal building by 155,000 square feet, quadrupling the amount of useable floor space in the ticketing hall and baggage claim areas, doubling the space for security checkpoints and doubling the outdoor curbside loading/unloading zones to help ease vehicle congestion for arrivals and departures.
Air Canada began twice-daily service from Richmond to Toronto, and construction was completed on two Airport Drive roadway flyovers, improving the traffic flow to and from the airport.
An expansion of the North Parking Garage was completed, adding 2,600 on-site parking spaces and bringing the total number of parking spaces to 10,000. In June, a new business center opened in RIC's upper level connector, offering travelers free WiFi, work stations and meeting room space. In addition, a USO center opened for U.S. Armed Forces personnel and their families.