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Soaring since 1927: RIC Celebrates 95 Years of Service to Virginia’s Capital Region

Oct 14, 2022

What began as a lightly developed 100-acre parcel in 1927 now contributes significantly to the economy of the Richmond Region

Today, Richmond International Airport (RIC) celebrates 95 years of serving Virginia’s Capital Region. Officially opening on October 15, 1927, Richard E. Byrd Airport, named after the Virginia explorer-aviator, Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd, was dedicated. Among the guests present at the opening ceremony was Col. Charles Lindbergh and his famous aircraft The Spirit of St. Louis.

“RIC is proud to celebrate the contributions that have been made to Richmond’s history and future,” said Perry J. Miller, A.A.E., I.A.P., president and CEO of the Capital Region Airport Commission. “We are excited about the opportunities ahead to extend our mission in delivering exceptional experience through convenience, innovation, and excellence.”

According to the Virginia Department of Aviation, RIC activities create nearly 16,000 jobs and contribute $2.1 billion in economic activity annually to the Richmond region.


Recent Major Milestones


  • Currently underway is the air carrier ramp expansion at Concourse B which will include a two-lane de-icing pad, concrete pavement, and spent aircraft deicing fluid collection system (completion expected in 2023).
  • FAA Infrastructure Funding awarded to renovate RIC federal inspection services (FIS) facility to meet U.S. Customs and Border Protection service facility standards for international travel. processing. The improvements will help the airport accommodate more passengers and opens the door to processing international arrivals.
  • Breeze Airways launches new service to San Francisco (SFO) and Las Vegas (LAS).
  • RIC unveils “Welcome to Richmond” mural in Concourse A to highlight area attractions, boost regional tourism, and connect to the community we serve.
  • Airport tenants and RIC collaborate to connect people with their careers by hosting the Airport Job Fair. The event attracts more than 150 employee candidates.
  • RIC activates a Queue Management System, allowing passengers the opportunity to save time by accessing TSA wait times in advance via desktop or mobile devices.


  • RIC extends Concourse A to include six additional gates, accommodating a pressing need for additional overnight parking for aircraft, and creating space for new dining and retail concepts, new restrooms, and expanded office space for tenants.
  • RIC chosen as a debut airport for “Seriously Nice” Breeze Airways, the new carrier from David Neeleman. The airline launched with three initial markets: Charleston (CHS), New Orleans (MSY), and Tampa (TPA).
  • RIC develops the Serve 2025 comprehensive strategic plan to focus on providing exceptional customer experience though convenience, innovation, and excellence.
  • Southwest Airlines adds first-ever flights to Chicago Midway (MDW) and Denver (DEN).
  • RIC continues to protect the health and safety of its passengers by becoming one of the first 30 airports in the U.S. – and the first in Virginia – to be recognized by Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) with a STAR™ Facility Accreditation. The program is the gold standard for prepared facilities.
  • With the opening of the Concourse A extension, The Market on Broad opens, shining a spotlight on traditional Richmond dishes by featuring locally sourced ingredients.
  • The Capital Region Airport Commission hosts the P.O.W.E.R. Together Business Opportunities Forum to introduce small, disadvantaged, and woman-owned businesses to airport buyers, concessionaires, and contractors.


  • The region welcomes Amazon Air gateway operations, touching down at RIC and making us one of more than 30 airports across the major cargo airline’s network.
  • New water bottle stations are installed. Three years later, they have filled the equivalent of 735,000 plastic bottles.
  • JetBlue tests flights from Richmond to Los Angeles (LAX) and Las Vegas (LAS) during a challenging period of the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • Capital Region Airport Commission appoints Perry J. Miller, A.A.E., I.A.P., president and CEO, as Jon E. Mathiasen, A.A.E., retires after nearly two decades at the helm.
  • RIC receives the Most Innovative Green Projects Award in recognition of environmentally sound measures from Virginia Green.


  • Richmond becomes Spirit Airlines’ 62nd destination as the airline inaugurates new service to Orlando (MCO) and Fort Lauderdale (FLL).


Visit to see our commemorative video and photo collage.


About Richmond International Airport (RIC)

Richmond International Airport’s vision is to move people, business, and commerce to advance the Richmond region. To that end, eight major passenger airlines and four dedicated cargo carriers offer domestic service from Richmond International Airport (RIC) with connecting options to points around the globe. To learn more, visit RIC on the webTwitterFacebookInstagram, or LinkedIn.





Troy M. Bell, C.M., Director – Marketing & Air Service Development/PIO
Richmond International Airport (RIC)

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