Situated on flat, sandy ground on the south side of the major port city of Da Nang, the area was ideal for an airfield, having unobstructed approaches to its north/south runways. Tourane Airport was built by the French colonial government in the 1940s as a civilian airport. During World War II, and the Japanese occupation of French Indochina, the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force used it as a military air base. After the war, the facility was used by the French Air Force during the French Indochina War (1945–1954). In 1955, the newly established Republic of Vietnam Air Force (VNAF) renamed Da Nang Airport. During the Vietnam War (1959–1975), the facility was known as Da Nang Air Base, and was a major United States military base.
In addition to its civil aviation, the runway is shared with the Vietnamese People's Air Force (VPAF, the Không Quân Nhân Dân Việt Nam), although military activities are now extremely limited. The airport served 5 million passengers in 2014, around six years sooner than expectation. An expansion of the new terminal is currently considered to increase its capacity to 10 million passengers per annum by 2020.
This airport handled 11 million passengers in 2017, an increase of 24.1% compared to that of 2016. The airport has two separate terminals for international and domestic passengers with total passenger capacity of 11 million per annum as at 2018. The Hanoi-Danang and Ho Chi Minh City-Danang routes have respectively 319 and 250 weekly flights and are, in order, the second and third busiest air routes in Vietnam after the Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh route (475 flights).