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Norfolk International Airport

Norfolk International Airport
Airport type Public
Owner City of Norfolk
Operator Norfolk Airport Authority
Serves Norfolk, Virginia
Elevation AMSL 27 ft / 8 m
ORF is located in Virginia
Location of airport in Virginia
Direction Length Surface
ft m
5/23 9,001 2,744 Asphalt/Concrete
14/32 4,875 1,486 Asphalt
Statistics (2011)
Aircraft operations 91,906
Based aircraft 95
Passenger boardings 1,606,695

Norfolk International Airport (ICAO: KORFFAA 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.[1] 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.

This airport is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a primary commercial service airport since it has over 10,000 passenger boardings (enplanements) per year.[3] 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.[4]

In 2012, Norfolk Airport served 3,299,728 total passengers (arriving and departing), a 3.33 percent increase compared to the previous year, which saw a total passenger count of 3,193,388.[5] Earlier annual passenger numbers included 3,332,466 (2010) 3,409,456 (2009); 3,549,204 (2008); and 3,714,323 (2007).[6] As of 2010, Norfolk International offered nearly 80 departures daily to major cities throughout the United States,[7] making it the third-busiest airport in Virginia and is ranked as the country's 66th largest airport in terms of passengers served annually.[7] Southwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and American Airlines are the predominant users of the airport.


  • History 1
  • Facilities and aircraft 2
    • FAA control tower 2.1
    • Cargo 2.2
  • Terminal 3
    • Gates 3.1
    • Concessions 3.2
  • Airlines and destinations 4
    • Passenger 4.1
    • Cargo 4.2
  • Statistics 5
    • Airline market share 5.1
    • Top domestic destinations 5.2
    • Annual traffic 5.3
  • Ground transportation 6
    • Parking 6.1
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


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 terminal building, the 1991 concourse expansion, and the Arrival 2002 project were all designed by Shriver & Holland Associates[8]

In 2013, Norfolk International Airport will recognize and celebrate its 75th anniversary of offering air travel services to passengers.

Facilities and aircraft

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).[1] These facilities allow operations to nearly all commercial aircraft types.

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.

For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2011, the airport had 91,906 aircraft operations, an average of 251 per day: 36% air taxi, 35% scheduled commercial, 28% general aviation, and 1% military. At that time there were 95 aircraft based at this airport: 54% single-engine, 28% multi-engine, 16% jet, and 2% helicopter.[1]

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 (Delta, United, American), CRJ200/700/900 (Delta, US Airways, United), E-170/175 (Delta, US Airways, United), Q200/300/400 (US Airways, United), MD80/90 (Delta, American), A319 (US Airways, United, Delta [resumes November 3, 2013]), B737-300/-500/-700/-800 (Southwest, Delta), B757 (Delta, FedEx Cargo, UPS), and A310 (FedEx Cargo).

FAA control tower

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.[6] 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). Southwest Airlines and American Airlines occupy Concourse A; all others use Concourse B. The Sky King charter flights are ground-handled by Landmark Aviation. International flights are handled at gate A1. Specific gate locations are the following: American A7-A8, Delta B21-B25, Southwest A3-A5, United 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


Airlines Destinations Concourse
American Airlines Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth A
American Eagle Charlotte, Miami, New York-JFK, New York-LaGuardia, Philadelphia, Washington-National A
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Detroit B
Delta Connection Detroit, New York-LaGuardia
Seasonal: Minneapolis/St. Paul, Orlando
Southwest Airlines Baltimore, Chicago-Midway, Orlando
Seasonal: Tampa, Las Vegas
United Airlines Chicago-O'Hare B
United Express Houston-Intercontinental, Newark, Washington-Dulles B


Airlines Destinations
DHL Roanoke, San Juan
FedEx Express Indianapolis, Knoxville, Memphis
UPS Airlines Richmond
Mountain Air Cargo Greensboro


Airline market share

Carrier shares for October 2013 – September 2014[9]
Carrier   Passengers (arriving and departing)
Air Wisconsin
US Airways

Top domestic destinations

Top domestic destinations (August 2014 – July 2015)[9]
Rank City Airport Passengers Carriers
1 Atlanta, Georgia Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (ATL) 357,100 Delta
2 Charlotte, North Carolina Charlotte/Douglas International (CLT) 203,060 US Airways
3 Baltimore, Maryland Baltimore/Washington International (BWI) 126,490 Southwest
4 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Philadelphia International (PHL) 80,740 US Airways
5 Dallas–Fort Worth, Texas Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW) 78,600 American
6 Washington, DC Washington Dulles International (IAD) 74,630 United
7 Chicago, Illinois Chicago-Midway (MDW) 73,030 Southwest
8 Chicago, Illinois Chicago-O'Hare (ORD) 69,750 United
9 New York City, New York LaGuardia (LGA) 66,120 Delta, American
10 Detroit, Michigan Detroit (DTW) 62,060 Delta

Annual traffic

Annual passenger traffic (enplaned + deplaned) at Norfolk Airport, 2002 thru 2014[10]
Year Passengers Year Passengers
2010 3,332,466
2009 3,409,456
2008 3,549,204
2007 3,714,323
2006 3,703,664
2005 3,884,422
2014 2,965,306 2004 3,778,216
2013 3,112,355 2003 3,436,391
2012 3,299,712 2002 3,464,246
2011 3,193,388

Ground transportation

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).[11]

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.


A nine-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 7,200 vehicles.[12]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Master Record for ORF (Form 5010 PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective November 15, 2012.
  2. ^ "IATA Airport Code Search (ORF: Norfolk / International)".  
  3. ^ "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" ( 
  4. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2011" (PDF, 1.7 MB). CY 2011 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. October 9, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Norfolk International Airport reports on December 2011 activity" (PDF). Norfolk International Airport. January 20, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "Press Room". Norfolk International Airport. 
  7. ^ a b "8 Non-Stop Flights Added" (PDF). Norfolk International Airport. February 16, 2010. 
  8. ^ Projects – Shriver and Holland Associates
  9. ^ a b "Norfolk, VA: Norfolk International (ORF)".  
  10. ^ E-News & Stats. Retrieved on Apr 3, 2015.
  11. ^ "Distance from airport to intersection of Route 165 & Route 247".  
  12. ^ "Norfolk Airport, ACS and MasterCard Worldwide Introduce Contactless Payments to Airport Parking". June 8, 2009. 

External links

  • Norfolk International Airport, official website
    • Airport master plan
  • Live webcam image from WAVY-TV
  • Airport pictures
    • Main terminal building and pedestrian bridge
    • Rendering of present configuration of terminal
    • Rendering of future configuration of terminal with planned expansion
    • Aerial picture
  • FAA Airport Diagram (PDF), effective June 23, 2016
  • FAA Terminal Procedures for ORF, effective June 23, 2016
  • Resources for this airport:
    • AirNav airport information for KORF
    • ASN accident history for ORF
    • FlightAware airport information and live flight tracker
    • NOAA/NWS latest weather observations
    • SkyVector aeronautical chart for KORF
    • FAA current ORF delay information
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