Daytona Beach International Airport

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Daytona Beach International Airport
Daytona Beach International Airport logo.png
Aerial view of runway 7R, Daytona Beach International Airport, 2007-11-03.jpg
Aerial view of runway 34, November 3, 2007. The speedway can be seen on the left.
WMO: 74787
Airport type Public
Owner County of Volusia
Serves Daytona Beach, Florida, US
Elevation AMSL 33 ft / 10 m
Coordinates 29°11′05″N 81°03′38″W / 29.18472°N 81.06056°W / 29.18472; -81.06056Coordinates: 29°11′05″N 81°03′38″W / 29.18472°N 81.06056°W / 29.18472; -81.06056
DAB is located in Florida
Location in Florida
Direction Length Surface
ft m
7L/25R 10,500 3,200 Asphalt/Concrete
7R/25L 3,195 974 Asphalt
16/34 6,001 1,829 Asphalt
Statistics (2010)
Aircraft operations 290,455
Based aircraft 231

Daytona Beach International Airport (IATA: DABICAO: KDABFAA LID: DAB) is a county-owned airport three miles (5 km) southwest of Daytona Beach,[1] next to Daytona International Speedway, in Volusia County, Florida. The airport has 3 runways, a six-gate domestic terminal, and an international terminal. Daytona Beach is the headquarters of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.


The Beach[edit]

Before airplanes landed on the beach, automobiles raced. The beach had a smooth, hard, and relatively clean surface for anything with wheels and speed. Pilots soon caught on and used the beach as a runway. Hangars were built later and aircraft service was provided on beach. This former airport is one of only two beach airports that were successful. The other, Old Orchard Beach in Maine, was the starting point for at least five transatlantic flights during the 1920s and 1930s.[2]

The Daytona Beach Airport Surveillance Radar, located off-site

The first flight on the beach was in 1906 by Charles K. Hamilton, using Israel Ludlow's glider. The glider was pulled by an automobile and actually took place in Ormond. He went as high as 150 feet (46 m) on his first try, and 250 feet (76 m) on the second, before crashing into a flagpole and surviving with a bruised knee.[2]

Numerous flights followed, including John A. D. McCurdy, the United States's 5th licensed pilot, in 1911, Phillips Page in 1912, and Ruth Law in 1913. Phillips Page has been credited for taking the first aerial photographs in Florida, while flying around the Hotel Clarendon in Daytona Beach. Many other pilots took to the skies above Daytona Beach before it was closed during the winter of 1929–30.[2]

Bethune Point[edit]

1916 photo of a seaplane at Daytona

All flights were moved to the new location at Bethune Point, on the Halifax River. Eastern Air Transport was the first airline at Daytona Beach, certified to fly mail to Tampa and Orlando. The first flight crashed just after takeoff, due to a mechanical failure. The pilot was uninjured, and the mail was collected and sent out on another flight.[2]

Florida State Airways, Inc was formed in early 1930 in Daytona Beach. The airline carried passengers to other Florida cities and to the Bahamas on Ryan aircraft. In January 1930 Vice President of Operations, Bill Lindley, piloted a flight to Palm Beach. While on the descent, he never pulled out of the dive and went into Lake Worth at full throttle. The combination of Lindley's death and the depression soon ended most aviation activity in Daytona Beach.[2]

Municipal Airport[edit]

In late 1930 a 740-acre (299 ha) piece of land turned into the current airport, a few hundred feet from the main drag of International Speedway Blvd. The first name it was given was Sholtz Field, after the then Governor of Florida, who was from Daytona Beach. The airport began with two gravel runways, one 1,800 feet (550 m) long and one 2,100 feet (640 m). Before long the name became Daytona Beach Municipal Airport.[2]

Eastern Air Lines began passenger service, flying Kingbirds and Condors. After a few years Eastern did not re-bid, after the airmail changes of 1934. In 1935 National Airlines won a bid on the cross-state route from Daytona Beach to St. Petersburg. In 1933, the airport was closed for repairs. National rerouted its flights to Jacksonville but Eastern became upset and called it an act of "buccaneers". National Airlines called itself the "Buccaneer Route".[2]

Pre-War Expansion[edit]

In the late 1930s four 4000 by 150 feet (46 m) runways were built, all paved, allowing DC-2s and DC-3s. The terminal was on the south side of the airport.[2] For a short while in 1940 a zoo-keeper was hired to maintain the airport.

Naval Air Station Daytona Beach[edit]

When World War II broke out the US Navy took over and used the airport for training, calling it Naval Air Station Daytona Beach. New buildings were later used by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University after their move from Miami in 1965.,[2][3] while others were used by the aviation department that later became the current aviation authority. Naval outlying fields (NOLFs) were built at Spruce Creek, New Smyrna, Ormond Beach and Bunnell that were shared with NAS Jacksonville, NAS Sanford and NAS DeLand.

NAS Daytona Beach conducted advanced training for Naval Aviators and enlisted Naval Aircrewmen of the US Navy and US Marine Corps in aircraft ranging from single seat F6F Hellcat and F4U Corsair fighters to the multi-seat SB2C Helldiver dive bomber. At the end of the war, NAS Daytona Beach was decommissioned and the auxiliary airfields were returned to local governments for civil use.

Post-War Expansion[edit]

Ownership reverted to the city of Daytona Beach in 1946. The November 1950 chart shows Runways 6, 10, 16 and 21, all 3990 to 4140 feet long, forming an asymmetric asterisk.

The April 1957 OAG shows eight departures a day on Eastern and four on National. A passenger terminal was completed in 1958, along with a control tower. Jet flights began in December 1967: Eastern 727s MIA-MLB-DAB-BAL-JFK and back. (The 1968 AOPA Directory shows DAB's longest runway as 5700 ft, but maybe it wasn't up to date—the 1969 Directory shows 7500 ft.) Runways 6 and 16 were 150' wide, the two diagonal runways were closed, and a 3100' x 75' training runway was built parallel to the main runway, on the south side of the field.

In 1969 Volusia County took over management of the airport from the City of Daytona Beach and renamed it Daytona Beach Regional Airport. In the following decades Embry-Riddle expanded its campus on the northeast side of the field. By the mid-1980s a midfield control tower had been completed and the airport was served by Eastern, Delta and Continental.

During the few years in the 1980s and 1990s that American Airlines had a hub in Raleigh/Durham, American Airlines had 2–3 daily flights to Raleigh Durham International Airport. American ended service to Daytona Beach in 1994 as the Raleigh/Durham hub was dismantled.

In 1992 a larger two-level terminal opened and the previous terminal was converted to an international arrivals facility. These new buildings, along with extension of two runways to 10,500' and 6001', justified a name change to Daytona Beach International Airport. The only scheduled direct flights out of the country from the airport were on small turboprops of Vintage Props and Jets.[2][3] On July 18, 2008 Vintage Props and Jets temporarily ceased operations and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. International charters on wide-bodied jets of numerous airlines appear now and then.

In the past Daytona Beach has seen Delta Air Lines from Cincinnati and New York, American Airlines from Raleigh-Durham, LTU International from Düsseldorf, Continental Airlines from Newark, United Airlines from Chicago and Washington DC, and AirTran Airways from Atlanta, Baltimore, and New York City. Except for Delta, these airlines all left.

According to an article in the Daytona Beach News Journal released on September 28, 2010, Stephen J. Cooke, the director of the airport, is in talks with the recently merged Southwest/Airtran to begin service to Daytona. Airtran has served Daytona in the past competing with Delta on the Atlanta route and having routes to Baltimore and LaGuardia as well. Southwest has never served Daytona. A Southwest spokesman has said it is too soon to discuss it but talks are continuing. If Southwest were to serve Daytona it would likely be from numerous cities. This would increase competition and lower prices for an airport that has been a duopoly by Delta and US Airways for years.[4]


Daytona Beach International Airport covers 1,800 acres (730 ha) and has three asphalt runways: 7L/25R, 10,500 x 150 ft. (3,200 x 46 m), 7R/25L at 3,195 x 100 ft. (974 x 30 m) and 16/34, 6,001 x 150 ft. (1,829 x 46 m).[1]

In the year ending April 30, 2010 the airport had 290,455 aircraft operations, average 796 per day: 97% general aviation, 1% airline, 2% air taxi and <1% military. 231 aircraft are based at this airport: 72% single engine, 16% multi-engine, 11% jet and 1% helicopters.[1]

Fixed base operators[edit]

Aviation Schools[edit]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
American Airlines Seasonal: Charlotte
American Eagle Charlotte
Delta Air Lines Atlanta
Delta Connection Seasonal: Atlanta
JetBlue Airways New York–JFK (begins January 7, 2016)[5]


Busiest domestic routes out of DAB
(August 2014 - July 2015)[6]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Atlanta, GA 223,000 Delta Air Lines
2 Charlotte, NC 80,000 US Airways

See also[edit]


External links[edit]