The airport is owned and operated by Petroliam Nasional Berhad or Petronas via its East Coast Regional Office (ECRO), and was built to serve the purpose of airlifting its employees and ExxonMobil employees to their various oil platforms located 100–200 km offshore South China Sea. The airport although small, has a single 3000 metre-long runway which can accommodate a Boeing 737-400 aircraft.
Most of the airport’s operations are centred around the helicopters operated by Malaysia Helicopter Services (MHS) used to transport workers to the platforms. The airport also used to have a weekday fixed-wing chartered service using a Beechcraft 1900 Airliner turboprop aircraft, also operated by MHS, which shuttles Petronas and ExxonMobil employees from Kerteh to the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport (SZB) in Subang near Kuala Lumpur. The fixed-wing service has ceased operation and now replaced with regular Firefly scheduled flights using ATR 72-500 short-haul aircraft.