The pathogenesis of pulmonary diseases is often complex and characterized by multiple cellular events, including inflammation, cell death, and cell proliferation. The mechanisms by which these events are regulated in pulmonary diseases remain poorly understood. Autophagy is an essential process for cellular homeostasis and stress adaptation in eukaryotic cells. This highly conserved cellular process involves the sequestration of cytoplasmic components in double-membrane autophagosomes, which are delivered to lysosomes for degradation. The critical roles of autophagy have been demonstrated in a wide range of pathophysiological conditions. Emerging studies have identified that autophagy plays important roles in the pathogenesis of various lung diseases. In addition, autophagy has been shown to selectively degrade subcellular targets, including proteins, organelles, and pathogens. Here, we highlight the recent advances in the molecular regulation and function of autophagy in lung diseases.