Daytona Beach International Airport

Daytona Beach International Airport
Daytona Beach International Airport
Aerial view of runway 7R, Daytona Beach International Airport, 2007-11-03.jpg
Aerial view of runway 7R
DAB is located in Florida
Location of the Airport in Florida
Airport type Public
Owner Volusia County
Location Daytona Beach, Florida
Elevation AMSL 34 ft / 10 m
Coordinates 29°10′48″N 081°03′29″W / 29.18°N 81.05806°W / 29.18; -81.05806
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
Source: Federal Aviation Administration[1]

Daytona Beach International Airport (IATA: DABICAO: KDABFAA LID: DAB) is a public county-owned airport located three miles (5 km) southwest of the central business district of Daytona Beach,[1] adjacent to the Daytona International Speedway, in Volusia County, Florida, United States. The airport has 3 runways, a six-gate domestic terminal, and an international terminal. Daytona Beach serves as the headquarters of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. It is considered to be much more convenient for nearby residents than nearby larger airports such as Orlando International Airport and Jacksonville International Airport.



The Beach

Before airplanes landed on the beach, automobile races were held regularly. The beach provided a smooth, hard, and relatively clean surface to use for anything with wheels and speed. Pilots soon caught on and used the beach as a runway. Hangars were built later, and even aircraft service was provided on beach. This former airport is one of only two beach airports that were successful. The other, Old Orchard Beach, was located in Maine and 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 occurred 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 only 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

1916 photo of a seaplane at Daytona

All flights were moved to the new location at Bethune Point, right on the Halifax River. Eastern Air Transport was the first commercial service out of Daytona Beach. The airline was certified to fly mail to Tampa and Orlando. However, 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 a different flight.[2]

Florida State Airways, Inc was an airline that formed in early 1930 in Daytona Beach. The airline provided service for passengers to other Florida cities and to the Bahamas, using 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 caused most aviation activity in Daytona Beach to stop.[2]

Municipal Airport

In late 1930, a 740-acre (299 ha) piece of land turned into the current airport, located just 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 runways, both gravel. One runway was 1,800 feet (550 m) long, the other was 2,100 feet (640 m) long. Before too long the name was changed to Daytona Beach Municipal Airport.[2]

Eastern Air Lines began passenger service out of Daytona Beach, flying Kingbirds and Condors. But after only 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 1936, 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 was nicknamed the "Buccaneer Route".[2]


In the late 1930s, four 4000 by 150 feet (46 m) runways were built, all paved. This expansion allowed DC-2 and DC-3 aircraft to land at Daytona Beach. At the time, the terminal was located on the south side of the airport.[2]

For a short while in 1940, a zoo-keeper was hired to maintain the airport. When World War II broke out, the US Navy took over and used the airport for training, establishing it as Naval Air Station Daytona Beach. All runways were widened to 200 feet (61 m) and the east–west runway was extended to 5,500 feet (1,700 m). New buildings were constructed, some of which were later used by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University after their move from Miami in 1965.[2][3]

At the end of the war, ownership was given back to the city of Daytona Beach in 1946. A permanent airline passenger terminal was completed in 1958, along with a control tower. During the 1960s, the east–west runway was extended to 7,500', facilitating operations for Eastern's Boeing 720 jets. This and the north–south runway were became 150' wide, the two diagonal runways were closed, and a 3100' x 75' flight training runway was built parallel to the main runway, on the south side of the field.

In 1969, Volusia County took over management and renamed the premises Daytona Beach Regional Airport. In the following decades Embry-Riddle considerably developed 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 airlines that included Eastern, Delta and Continental.

During the short period of time in the 1980s and 1990s while American Airlines maintained a hub operation in Raleigh/Durham, American Airlines provided 2–3 daily flights using mainline aircraft to Raleigh Durham International Airport. American discontinued service to Daytona Beach in 1994 as the Raleigh/Durham hub was dismantled.

In 1992, a newer, larger two-level terminal was opened to the public. 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 provided by Vintage Props and Jets using small, turbo-prop aircraft.[2][3] On July 18, 2008, Vintage Props and Jets temporarily ceased operations and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. International charters using wide-bodied jets of numerous airlines are periodically conducted.

In the past, Daytona Beach has seen service from present day airlines such as Delta Airlines 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. These airlines have subsequently all pulled out of Daytona Beach.

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 active 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 future markets 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 monopolized by Delta and US Airways for years.[4]

Current service

Currently, Daytona Beach International Airport is served by two carriers, Delta Air Lines with service to Atlanta and US Airways with service to Charlotte. Delta provides mainline service year round using MD-88s, while mixing in CRJ-700s for the quiet summer season and DC-9-50s and A319s for the busy holiday season. Delta also adds daily 757s for the Spring Break season. US Airways uses regional jets ranging from CRJ-200s to CRJ-900s depending on the season. Both Airlines upgrade for the Daytona 500 weekend with Delta bringing in B757s and US Airways bringing B737s and A319s.

Facilities and aircraft

Daytona Beach International Airport covers an area of 1,800 acres (730 ha) which contains three asphalt paved runways: 7L/25R measuring 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 which is 6,001 x 150 ft. (1,829 x 46 m).[1]

For the 12-month period ending April 30, 2010, the airport had 290,455 aircraft operations, an average of 796 per day: 97% general aviation, 1% scheduled commercial, 2% air taxi and <1% military. There are 231 aircraft based at this airport: 72% single engine, 16% multi-engine, 11% jet aircraft and 1% helicopters.[1]

Fixed base operators

Aviation Schools

  • Ultimate Air Academy
  • 1st Class Aviation School of Aeronautics
  • Air America Flight Center
  • Airline Transport Professionals
  • Daytona Aviation Academy
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Phoenix East Aviation
  • The Airline Academy

Airlines and destinations

Scheduled passenger service

Airlines Destinations
Delta Air Lines Atlanta
Delta Air Lines operated by Atlantic Southeast Airlines Seasonal: Atlanta
US Airways Seasonal: Charlotte
US Airways Express operated by Mesa Airlines Seasonal: Charlotte
US Airways Express operated by PSA Airlines Charlotte
US Airways Express operated by Republic Airlines Seasonal: Charlotte

Top Destinations

Busiest domestic routes out of DAB
(July 2010 - June 2011)[5]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Georgia (U.S. state) Atlanta, GA 188,000 Delta
2 North Carolina Charlotte, NC 67,000 US Airways

Air taxi service

Airlines Destinations
Airgate Aviation Treasure Cay, Marsh Harbour (Temporarily Relocated to New Smyrna Beach Airport as of April 1, 2011)

See also


External links

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