Norfolk International Airport

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Norfolk International Airport
Norfolk International Airport Logo.jpg
Norfolk International Airport=VA-9Apr1990-USGS.jpg
Airport type Public
Owner City of Norfolk
Operator Norfolk Airport Authority
Serves Hampton Roads, Northeast North Carolina
Location Norfolk, Virginia, U.S.
Elevation AMSL 27 ft / 8 m
Coordinates 36°53′41″N 076°12′04″W / 36.89472°N 76.20111°W / 36.89472; -76.20111Coordinates: 36°53′41″N 076°12′04″W / 36.89472°N 76.20111°W / 36.89472; -76.20111
ORF is located in Virginia
Location of airport in Virginia / United States
ORF is located in the US
ORF (the US)
Direction Length Surface
ft m
5/23 9,001 2,744 Asphalt/Concrete
14/32 4,875 1,486 Asphalt
Aircraft operations (2016) 74,264
Based aircraft (2017) 95
Passengers (2017) 3,380,902 [1] Increase 5.4%

Norfolk International Airport (IATA: ORF[3], ICAO: KORF, FAA LID: ORF) is a public use airport located three nautical miles (6 km) northeast of the central business district of Norfolk, an independent city in the U.S. state of Virginia.[2] It is owned by the city of Norfolk and operated by the Norfolk Airport Authority: a bureau under the municipal government. The airport serves the entire Hampton Roads metropolitan area of southeast Virginia (along with Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport in Newport News) as well as northeast North Carolina.

It is included in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2017–2021, in which it is categorized as a small-hub primary commercial service facility.[4] As per Federal Aviation Administration records, the airport had 1,606,695 enplanements in calendar year 2011, a decrease of 3.4 percent from 1,663,294 in 2010.[5]

For the 12-month period ending January 2017, Norfolk Airport served 3,199,000 total passengers.[6] Earlier annual passenger numbers included 3,332,466 (2010) 3,409,456 (2009); 3,549,204 (2008); and 3,714,323 (2007).[7]

As of 2016, Norfolk International was ranked as the 70th-busiest airport in the United States and the fourth-busiest in Virginia in terms of passengers served annually following Richmond International, Dulles International Airport and Reagan National Airport.[8] Southwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and American Airlines are the predominant users of the airport.


Commercial aviation began in the Norfolk area about 1926, when Norfolk citizens flew commercially for the first time on the Mitten Line, operated by Philadelphia Rapid Transit Air Service, Inc. Norfolk International Airport was established in 1938 when the city-owned Truxton Manor Golf Course was converted to Norfolk Municipal Airport, complete with a 3,500-foot (1,100 m) runway. The first permanent terminal was complete by 1940.

With World War II, Norfolk Municipal Airport became a vital resource to the war effort. The United States Army Air Corps assumed control of airport operations between 1942–1947, extending the runway and adding two more to handle the vastly increased number of flights with larger and larger aircraft. The Norfolk Fighter Wing was established by the AAF in August 1942, providing an air defense umbrella for the Norfolk area's numerous defense facilities. The 52d Fighter Group was stationed at the airport however immediately after the Pearl Harbor attack in December 1941. Various squadrons were assigned to Norfolk Airport during the early years of the war for the air defense mission, the last being the 373d Fighter Group. The air defense mission ended at the end of July 1944.

As the troops returned from the war, the Army Air Corps returned the airport to the city's domain at the end of 1945, and commercial travel took off with two new airlines providing regular flights. In 1948, Piedmont Airlines initiated flights. That same year, ground was broken for a larger, more modern terminal building.

In 1950, responsibility for the airport was turned over to the newly established Norfolk Port and Industrial Authority (NPIA) which could proudly call Norfolk Municipal Airport one of the finest in the nation and one of the busiest. In 1951, the new terminal was officially dedicated.

In the 1960s, the transition from propeller driven aircraft to jets gathered full steam. Norfolk Municipal Airport took on the new demands for longer and stronger runway and taxiway facilities easily, and jetliners here became the rule, not the exception. As a result, in 1968, the airport was officially recognized as the air transportation center for the entire Hampton Roads region, and became known as Norfolk Regional Airport. To prepare for exponential growth over the next three decades, NPIA developed a comprehensive master plan that would move the airport into the 21st century in full stride.

In 1974, the airport dedicated its new, state-of-the-art terminal and additional land was secured for further expansion. In 1976, the airport's name was changed to Norfolk International Airport with the addition of federal customs facilities. New outbuildings housing the fire station, maintenance depot, ATC tower and more were also planned and came on line as needed. However, one of the challenges in expanding was capitalizing on the location of the airport's neighboring Botanical Garden, creating a beautiful buffer zone between the airport and the outside world. Norfolk International Airport, surrounded by year-round beauty, has become a national role model for reconciling expanding air facilities and a delicate ecological sanctuary.

In the 1980s, many changes were taking place. A new general aviation facility opened and a new air cargo terminal was completed for all operations. Parking facilities were also expanded. Even the name of the supervising body changed in 1988 – from Norfolk Port and Industrial Authority to Norfolk Airport Authority.

Changes continued throughout the 1990s as Norfolk International prepared for growth. The air cargo terminal and parking facilities expanded and public areas of the passenger terminal were renovated. In 1991, Norfolk International completed a new concourse extension providing 10 additional gates, for a total of 24 gates. A new state-of-the-art fire station and new FAA air traffic control tower facility also began operation.

The airport's largest capital improvement project, Arrival 2002, was completed in June 2002. The $133 million project included a new 243,000-square-foot (22,600 m2) arrivals building with an automated baggage handling system; a 2,850-space covered parking garage; runway and taxiway rehabilitation and upgrades; main terminal lobby refurbishment; and a new food/beverage and retail concession program.

The main entrance to ORF, built in 1974.

The terminal building, the 1991 concourse expansion, and the Arrival 2002 project were all designed by Shriver & Holland Associates[9]

In 2013, Norfolk International Airport celebrated its 75th anniversary of offering air travel services to passengers.

Beginning in 2015, the airport began a large-scale remodel and expansion of existing spaces, including the main terminal, both concourses, restrooms, security checkpoints, restaurants, and other amenity spaces. New skylights, flooring, expanded security checkpoints, new restrooms, and new restaurants are part of the scope of work. The work continues through 2017.

Facilities and aircraft[edit]

Norfolk International Airport covers an area of 1,300 acres (526 ha) at an elevation of 27 feet (8 m) above mean sea level. Airfield facilities consist of a main runway designated 5–23 which is 9,001 by 150 feet (2,744 x 46 m) and a crosswind runway designated 14–32 which is 4,875 by 150 feet (1,486 x 46 m).[2] These facilities allow operations to nearly all commercial aircraft types.

An American Eagle CRJ-200 landing in ORF from LaGuardia Airport. Taken in 2016.

The crosswind runway's (14–32) was closed for renovations on December 19, 2009 and reopened in Spring 2011. Eventually however, the airport's long-term plan calls for this runway to be destroyed to make way for a new parallel runway (5R-23L) east of existing runway 5–23. But the FAA grounded the plan in summer 2016 due to diminishing demand, limited space, and environmental impacts.

For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2016, the airport had 74,264 aircraft operations, an average of 203 per day: 37% scheduled commercial, 36% air taxi, 26% general aviation, and <1% military. In May 2017, there were 95 aircraft based at this airport: 50 single-engine, 24 multi-engine, 19 jet, and 2 helicopter.[2]

General aviation services, or fixed based operations, are provided by Landmark Aviation with full-service facilities for maintaining and housing private and corporate aircraft. The modern 54,000-square-foot (5,000 m2) terminal facility offers everything from aircraft rental to sightseeing flights and aircraft repair.

Daily scheduled aircraft include ERJ135/140/145 (United, American), CRJ200/700/900 (Delta, United, American), ERJ170/175 (United and American), MD80/90 (Delta, American), B717 (Delta), A319 (Delta, United, American), B737 (Southwest), and B757 (FedEx and UPS)

FAA control tower[edit]

Built in 1995, the FAA Norfolk Air Traffic Control Tower stands 134 feet (41 m) high. Operated and managed by the Federal Aviation Administration, the Norfolk Tower handles approximately 1,100 aircraft per day, 24 hours per day and 365 days per year. Radar coverage is provided by ASR-9 terminal system with a six-level weather detection capability. Also available for use is an Enhanced Target Generator (ETG) lab with two radar scopes to accomplish training objectives, as well as the IDS4 system, a specialized microcomputer network system designed to distribute and display both static and real-time data regarding weather and other rapidly changing critical information to air traffic controllers.


Approximately 70 million pounds of air cargo are presently shipped in and out of Norfolk International Airport (NIA) each year.[7] NIA houses one of the most modern and efficient air cargo facilities in the state of Virginia. Its two modern air cargo terminals provide users with 88,000 square feet (8,200 m2) of space. An adjacent aircraft ramp provides direct access from plane to warehouse. Specific dimensions and additional amenities include:

  • Bays 2,000 square feet (190 m2) or larger
  • Bay depths of 85 to 100 feet (30 m)
  • 16-foot (4.9 m) minimum clear height
  • A 48-inch-high truck dock with 8-by-10 overhead doors
  • Ground level loading with 10-by-10 drive-in doors



Norfolk International Airport consists of two passenger concourses: Concourse A (gates A1-A15), and Concourse B (gates B16-B30). American Airlines and Southwest Airlines occupy Concourse A while Allegiant Air, Delta Airlines, Frontier Airlines, and United Airlines occupy Concourse B. International flights are handled at gate A1. Specific gate locations are the following: Allegiant B20, American A2, A4, A6-A8, Delta B21-B25, Frontier B16, B20, Southwest A3 and A5, United B20, B27-B30.


Food, beverage and retail concessions are located throughout the main departures terminal lobby and both airline concourses. New Jersey-based Hudson News manages all airport retail operations; food and beverage operations are managed by HMS Host Corporation. There are several retail shops, restaurants and lounges throughout airport.

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Allegiant Air Fort Lauderdale, Orlando/Sanford, St. Petersburg/Clearwater
Seasonal: Jacksonville
American Airlines Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth [11]
American Eagle Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Miami, New York–JFK, New York–LaGuardia, Philadelphia, Washington–National [11]
Delta Air Lines Atlanta [12]
Delta Connection Boston, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York–JFK, New York–LaGuardia [12]
Frontier Airlines Las Vegas
Seasonal: Denver, Orlando, Phoenix–Sky Harbor (begins November 17, 2018), Tampa (begins November 17, 2018)
Southwest Airlines Baltimore, Chicago–Midway, Orlando
Seasonal: Denver
United Airlines Denver[16]
Seasonal: Chicago–O'Hare, Washington–Dulles
United Express Chicago–O'Hare, Houston–Intercontinental, Newark, Washington–Dulles [17]


FedEx Express Atlanta, Charleston (SC), Knoxville, Manteo, Memphis, Newark, Raleigh/Durham
UPS Airlines Louisville, Orlando, Raleigh/Durham, Richmond


Airline market share[edit]

Carrier shares for (Mar 2016 – Feb 2017)[18]
Carrier   Passengers (arriving and departing)
Air Wisconsin

Top destinations[edit]

Busiest domestic routes from ORF
(Mar 2017 – Feb 2018)
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Atlanta, GA 356,320 Delta
2 Charlotte, NC 225,450 American
3 Baltimore, MD 182,870 Southwest
4 Chicago–O'Hare, IL 152,650 American, United
5 Philadelphia, PA 92,240 American
6 Washington D.C. Dulles 89,020 United
7 Dallas/Fort Worth, TX 86,640 American
8 Chicago–Midway, IL 80,620 Southwest
9 New York City-LaGuardia, NY 72,070 American, Delta
10 Newark, NJ 69,680 United

Annual traffic[edit]

Annual passenger traffic
(enplaned/deplaned) at ORF
2002 through 2017[19]
Year Passengers
2002 3,464,246
2003 3,436,391
2004 3,778,216
2005 3,884,422
2006 3,703,664
2007 3,714,323
2008 3,549,204
2009 3,409,456
2010 3,332,466
2011 3,193,388
2012 3,299,712
2013 3,112,355
2014 2,965,306
2015 3,034,407
2016 3,209,185
2017 3,380,902

Passenger development[edit]

Norfolk Airport Passenger Totals 2002–2017 (millions)[20]

Ground transportation[edit]

There are no bus or shuttle services to and from Norfolk International Airport. The nearest bus (HRT Route 15) connection is 1.5 miles (2.4 km) away at the intersection of Military Highway (Route 165) and Norview Avenue (Route 247).[21] All ground transportation services are located in the arrivals terminal. There are several on-site rental car companies, an authorized shuttle service providing door-to-door service to the entire Hampton Roads area, and taxis available through several companies. Additionally, both Uber and Lyft service the airport through an agreement with the airport authority.


A four-level parking garage adjacent to the new arrivals terminal opened in July 2002. It provided 2,800 covered spaces for short term, long term and rental parking. Overall, NIA parking facilities can accommodate 7,000 vehicles.[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Press Room - Norfolk International Airport". 
  2. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Master Record for ORF (Form 5010 PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. effective May 25, 2017.
  3. ^ "IATA Airport Code Search (ORF: Norfolk / International)". International Air Transport Association. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 
  4. ^ "List of NPIAS Airports" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. 21 October 2016. Retrieved 23 November 2016. 
  5. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2011" (PDF, 1.7 MB). Federal Aviation Administration. October 9, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Norfolk International Airport reports on December 2011 activity" (PDF). Norfolk International Airport. January 20, 2012. [dead link]
  7. ^ a b "Press Room". Norfolk International Airport. Archived from the original on January 17, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Commercial Service Airports (Rank Order) based on Calendar Year 2016 Enplanements" (PDF). FAA. October 5, 2017. 
  9. ^ Projects – Shriver and Holland Associates Archived March 29, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ "Low cost airline brings new service". 
  11. ^ a b "Flight schedules and notifications". Retrieved 7 January 2017. 
  12. ^ a b "FLIGHT SCHEDULES". Retrieved 7 January 2017. 
  13. ^ "Frontier announces two new routes from Norfolk International Airport". Retrieved 8 May 2018. 
  14. ^ "Frontier announces nonstop to Las Vegas". Retrieved 10 June 2018. 
  15. ^ "Check Flight Schedules". Retrieved 7 January 2017. 
  16. ^ "United Airlines fills out route map with eight new routes". 
  17. ^ a b "Timetable". Retrieved 7 January 2017. 
  18. ^ a b "Norfolk, VA: Norfolk International (ORF)". Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), U.S. Department of Transportation. April 27, 2017. 
  19. ^ "Norfolk Airport Stats Retrieved on Dec 28, 2017" (PDF). 
  20. ^ "Statistics" (PDF). 
  21. ^ "Distance from airport to intersection of Route 165 & Route 247". Google Maps. 
  22. ^ "Norfolk Airport, ACS and MasterCard Worldwide Introduce Contactless Payments to Airport Parking". June 8, 2009. 

External links[edit]