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The facility was originally opened as a Naval Auxiliary Air Station (NAAS) and officially commissioned on March 3, 1943. NAAS Manteo was used for special training of squadrons and the most common aircraft used were F4F Wildcats, F6F Hellcats, SB2C Helldivers, TBM and TBF Avengers, PBY Catalinas and F4U Corsairs.
The Navy shared the field with the Civil Air Patrol and they worked together fulfilling their primary mission of anti submarine patrols. The special training of many different squadrons was continued by the Navy until the station was placed on caretaker status on December 15, 1945.
In 1947, Dare County asked for the return of the airfield and their request was granted. Since then the facility has been operated by a Fix Base Operator (FBO) then later the Dare County Airport Authority, which took over the airport in 1983 and oversees the airport’s daily operations today.
Dare County Regional Airport is a bustling center of aviation activity year round and has a lot to offer. We feature a full staff, a modern terminal building and hangars. MQI utilizes two runways (5-23) and (17-35) with radio controlled lighting. We also have AWOS weather service, DME, VOR and ADF navigational equipment.