Inflammatory airway disease, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), is a major health burden worldwide. These diseases cause large numbers of deaths each year due to airway obstruction, which is exacerbated by respiratory viral infection. The inflammatory response in the airway is mediated in part through the MAPK pathways: p38, JNK and ERK. These pathways also have roles in interferon production, viral replication, mucus production, and T cell responses, all of which are important processes in inflammatory airway disease. Dual-specificity phosphatases (DUSPs) are known to regulate the MAPKs, and roles for this family of proteins in the pathogenesis of airway disease are emerging. This review summarizes the function of DUSPs in regulation of cytokine expression, mucin production, and viral replication in the airway. The central role of DUSPs in T cell responses, including T cell activation, differentiation, and proliferation, will also be highlighted. In addition, the importance of this protein family in the lung, and the necessity of further investigation into their roles in airway disease, will be discussed.