Carteret County is home to the Port of Morehead City and to Michael J. Smith Field Airport, a general aviation airport in Beaufort.


The Port of Morehead City is one of two deep water ports owned by the North Carolina Ports, an agency of the State of North Carolina.  Located on 128 acres in downtown Morehead City, the Port of Morehead City offers bulk, breakbulk, specialty cargo and warehousing services for customers around the world.  The Port offers a channel project depth of 45 feet and unobstructed access via Beaufort Inlet to the open ocean, just 4 miles from the Port terminal.

The Port of Morehead City also includes approximately 140 acres of undeveloped deep water acreage on Radio Island, which abuts Beaufort Inlet on the east side of the inlet.  Norfolk Southern Rail service is available to both the main terminal and Radio Island.  For more information about the Port of Morehead City visit https://ncports.com/port-facilities/port-of-morehead-city/.


Michael J. Smith Field Airport (MRH)

Named after Beaufort native and space shuttle Challenger pilot Mike Smith, Michael J. Smith Field (MRH) is an outstanding general aviation airport just two miles from downtown Beaufort.  The airport is owned and governed by the Carteret County-Beaufort Airport Authority.  The airport occupies 400 acres and includes three asphalt runways, a terminal building, and multiple hangars for small and large aircraft.

Primary runway 8-26 has a length of 5,003 feet and has an Edge Lighting System.  The airport offers full service fueling for both Jet A and AV gas, as well as flight instruction and car rental services.  There are 58 based aircraft and the airport generates approximately 34.8M in annual business revenue.

For more information visit www.flythecrystalcoast.org.

Coastal Carolina Regional Airport (EWN)

Coastal Carolina Regional Airport (https://www.flyewn.com/) is the closest airport providing commercial air service to the Crystal Coast.  Located in the city of New Bern in adjacent Craven County, EWN is less than a one-hour drive to almost all of Carteret County.  Daily service is available on American Airlines to Charlotte, providing convenient access to most domestic and international destinations.  Other airports serving the central North Carolina coast are Ellis Airport in Jacksonville (OAJ) (www.flyoaj.com) and Wilmington International Airport (ILM) (www.flyilm.com).

Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU)

Raleigh-Durham International Airport (www.rdu.com) is approximately 3 hours by car from most of Carteret County.  With the completion of the U.S. 70 upgrades to become new I-42, the travel time to RDU will be reduced to approximately two and one-half hours.  Prior to COVID-19, RDU provided nonstop service to 57 domestic destinations and five international destinations.