Daytona Beach Intl. Airport (DAB/KDAB) is another small airfield along Florida‘s eastern coast located 5km southwest of Daytona Beach itsself. It handles roughly 800.000 passenger a year these days, but most traffic is generated by general aviation. Schedule passenger flights are served by American and Delta, connecting DAB to their bigger hubs. The airport is not served by any special airlines or aircraft types on a regular basis.
But it is regularly home to some charters or interesting movements thanks to the local Daytona Speedway and the Embry-Ridle Aeronautical University (ERAU). Latter is a huge campus/flight school, including an aviation maintenance center at the airport. In addition, you sometimes may see USAF transport, fighter or personnel aircraft. The Daytona Speedway, located north of the airports boundaries, will gurantee some additional traffic during the Daytona500 Nascar cup.
Written by Severin Hackenberger in cooperation with Herison Riwu Kore and Brandon McLeish. Last Update: 2022
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|07L/25R||3200m x 46m|
|07R/25L||974m x 30m|
|16/34||1830m x 46m|
|Terminals||There is only one terminal handling all passenger ops.|
|Ladder||Definitely wise to have one at hand as spots 4 and 5 do require one. Otherwise you can also quickly climb your car’s top.|
|Car/Public Transport||Car definitely needed as spots are not connected by public transport and a car can be a good ladder alternative as well.|
|Drinks/Food||North of the airport is a huge mall with plenty shops/restaurants.|
|Hotels||No specific spotter hotels although there are some at the northern end of runway 16/34.|
|Season||Regarding traffic and volume there is no real season here. But summer will be hotter, hazier and see more showers.|
|Security||In general spotting around DAB is pretty safe and calm and you should not be harassed by airport security or police.
Please be also aware of following facts:
|07L/25R||The main runway here used by most aircraft in both directions.|
|07R/25L||Only used by small props which are located in the southern part of the airport.|
|14/28||Crosswind runway, only used during strong winds (rare).|
|Spot #1 – Emil Buhler Aviation Maintenance Science – Ramp and taxiway, 16/34 movements, 25R arrivals and line-up|
|WHERE||This spot is the terrace of the Emil Buhler Aviation Maintenance Science Building at its western front. Parking is spossible in the nearby parking lots and then just make your way into the Aviation maintenance center to the terrace consisting out of two sections: one on the first level, the next part on the second floor. Issue is, the terrace is not opened for public, you either need an ID card or ask for access friendly inside somewhere. If you do not get in here, you can also position yourself along the fences at the ground surrounding the building.|
|WHAT||Perfect spot to get all the ramp and taxiway actions of the flight school. All 16/34 movementc can be seen as well as 25R arrivals and line-up.|
|TIME||Best on mornings for 16/34 and the ramp,|
|MISC.||This spot is located on Embry-Riddle Academy property. Usually if you spot here campus security won’t bother you, just stay polite, keep a low profile to avoid huge attention and follow their orders if they ask you to leave. This spot actually closes after sundown! However, during the day heat haze can be an issue already.
The terrace is open for Embry-Riddle students and staff only (there’s a card reader at the entrance) so before coming to DAB we recommend contacting anyone that has recent photos from DAB because some of them are Embry-Riddle students. Or just get in touch with the academy itsself, maybe they are keen to grant you access themselves. But the terrace will definitely be full with students when something such as AF Thunderbirds come in.
CRJ9 on apron = 20mm
|Spot #2 – ERAU Mail Center – 16 Movements + nearby Ramps|
|WHERE||Here you stand on the ERAU Mail Center, a few hunderd meters north of the campus, on the wodden staircase leading up to a little tower. If you would be send away, you can also just stand along the fence in the parking area, where you can also park your car directly.|
|WHAT||This terrace offers a views in a southward direction onto runway 16/34 and the ramps south of you.|
|TIME||Best in the morning, before haze can occur.|
|MISC.||This spot is located on Embry-Riddle Academy property and if you spot here campus security usually won’t bother you. Just stay polite, keep a low profile to avoid huge attention and follow their orders if they ask you to leave.|
Gulfstream on apron = 285mm
|Spot #3 – Voyager parking – 16 Arrivals|
|WHERE||This spot is nothing more or less than the green voyager parking area north of the campus complex. It can be accessed without barrier/ticket and offers plenty space to move around.|
|WHAT||Good for 16 Arrivals only.|
|TIME||Sunrise till early noon.|
|MISC.||Nothing directly here, but nearby (north of the spot) is a huge mall. When spotting here, rather stay in the car as long as possible to avoid attention.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||Should be 50-250mm|
Unluckily we do not have any examples for this spot yet.
|Spot #4 – Phoenix East Avaition – Ramp and 16 Movements|
|WHERE||This position is located on a small concrete kind pad/parking area at the terminal, close to the Phoenix East Aviation hangars. You can drive up here by your car and then step up to the fence here for some quick shots.|
|WHAT||From here you can spot movements on the ramp in front of you and the runway infront.|
|TIME||Best from afternoon until sunset for runway shot. Ramp depends on the angle but also better from afternoon onwards.|
|MISC.||The runway may be hazy in summer or the view can be blocked by parked aircraft and stuff. The fence here is quite high so you either need a ladder or a small lense to shoot thru the mesh. Take care where you park your car not to violate parking regulations and do not hang around here for ages – especially along the fence.|
F15 = 50mm
|Spot #5 – Belleuve Road – 07L movements|
|WHERE||This spot is at Bellevue Road, at the end of runwy 07L There are two points where you can stay. The first one (A) is at the head of runway 07L, at an abandoned entrance to some kind of farm. This spot is good to catch the arrivals as the planes are still above the fence. But a ladder or car roof is recommend to avoid parts of the fence within your photo.
Second point (B) is a bit further up the road where you can stay next to a small lay by with some barriers. This spot is good to photoraph the departures, but arrivals are possible too. A ladder or car rooftop is mandatory from this point!
|WHAT||From both points you can get all movements on runway 07L/25R, although small 25R stuff may be too high or off the runway here already.|
|TIME||All day long in the winter. Summer months are backlit in the evening and morning.|
|MISC.||There are no facilities in both spots so bring what you need. Take care not to stop directly on the street to avoid issues with the police.|
A321 = 100mm
|Spot #6 – MicaPlex – 25R arrivals and line-up|
|WHERE||This spot is infront of the “MicaPlex”, southeast of the terminal, along Aviation Center Pkwy, from where you have nice view onto the approach path directly in front of you. You can park on the complex or by the roadside as it is a dead end road and not that busy. You are a bit elevated, so no ladder needed to photograph on the runway.|
|WHAT||Best for 25R arrivals.You may also shoot 25R iine-ups if it’s not hazy. 07L departures are too high.|
|TIME||For arrivals all day long in the winter. Summer months are backlit in the evening and morning. 25R line-ups are the best options in the early morning hours.|
|MISC.||This spot is located on Embry-Riddle Academy property. Usually if you spot here campus security won’t bother you, just stay polite, keep a low profile to avoid huge attention and follow their orders if they ask you to leave.|
CRJ900 = 120mm