The airport is a former military air base, and has its roots and history from the Kalmar air flotilla (F 12), which was set up on 1 July 1942 at Stora Törneby farm west of Kalmar. The property had been acquired by the city of Kalmar in 1937, with a view to a future airport. During the year 1940, the Swedish Air Force inquired about being allowed to use the then proposed airport for military use. After a quick decision by the drätsel chamber, the city of Kalmar came to transfer the entire Törneby property free of charge to the state, which was given full ownership as long as permanent military activities were to be conducted there. In addition to Törneby, the state also bought parts of Ebbetorp, Elverslösa and Skogstorp. In connection with the flotilla being reorganized into a hunting flotilla in 1947, the first was built
permanently paved runway, which was ready for use in 1948. 

On April 14, 1957, the flotilla's runway 05-23 was opened on an attempt at civilian traffic. When Linjeflyg started its first regular route, Stockholm - Kalmar. In November 1961, the government decided that flotilla airports could be used for civilian traffic. Kalmar Airport became the first flotilla airport in Sweden to also be used for civilian purposes.

In the spring of 1975, the Riksdag decided to wind up the two flotilla administrations Södermanland's air flotilla (F 11) in Nyköping and Kalmar air flotilla (F 12). The flotilla's land holdings in Kalmar at that time amounted to approximately 400 hectares. Furthermore, a land battle area of approximately 275 hectares was disposed of, approximately 30 km southwest of Kalmar, as well as the target site on Öland, which comprises approximately 275 hectares of leased land. The flotilla had two runways, one in a northwest-southeast direction (2,300 m long) and one in a northeast-southwest direction (2,000 m long). The flotilla then employed 370 people and about 400 conscripts.

After the flotilla was disbanded on 30 June 1980, remaining operations in the flotilla area were transferred as a detachment to the Blekinge air flotilla (F 17). Remaining in Kalmar were the aviation workshop and Väderskolan. In connection with the defense decision in 1982, Väderskolan was transferred from 1 January 1983 to Krigsflygskolan (F 5), and the aviation workshop in Kalmar and other remaining activities in the flotilla area were closed down in their entirety.

After the Swedish Air Force left the airport, it was taken over and operated by the Swedish Civil Aviation Administration (LFV), and since then the airport has only been used for civil aviation. On January 1, 2007, Kalmar Municipality took over the operation of the airport and has since continued to operate the airport through the company Kalmar Airport AB. Since February 2013, the operating company has been calling the airport Kalmar Öland Airport.