In the early days of aviation, the white sands of Daytona Beach served as the only runway for daredevil pilots who were hired as guest entertainment by area upscale hotels. This entertainment source made the beach itself Volusia County’s first airport. Soon the entertainment source shifted to a service focus when a Pitcairn Airwing began making regular airmail deliveries on the beach. Historically, the first twin-engine aircraft ever flown left the ground at Daytona Beach. The Daytona Beach International Airport history timeline marks some of the highlights of its growth and development.
1928 – The City of Daytona Beach moved its airport from the beach to scenic Bethune Point along the Halifax River.
1930 – The City of Daytona Beach moved its airport from Bethune Point to its present site. The rough construction included signage made of an old wooden surfboard planted firmly in the ground and runways made with coquina rock. For viewing, the surfboard is located in the airport terminal on the 2nd level.
1940 – The City of Daytona Beach contracted a zookeeper to run the airport. Unfortunately, accompanying the zookeeper was his fur-covered menagerie. During World War II, the U.S. Navy took over the airport for pilot training.
1946 – The City of Daytona Beach regained ownership of the airport. The demand for air travel replaced rail travel as the favored mode of transportation.
1952 – Construction began of the first terminal and hangars at the Daytona Beach Airport. Throughout this decade, passenger and cargo service grew to 6,000 aircraft per week, including Eastern, National and governmental airlines.
1958 – Federal aid program provided funding for construction of new, modernized terminal including restaurant, bar, gift shop and barbershop. Terminal design promoted the Daytona Airport to one of the most modern and safest airports in the state of Florida.
1969 – Volusia County took over management and operation of the Daytona Beach Municipal Airport. The airport was renamed the Daytona Beach Regional Airport.
1992 – The Daytona Beach Regional Airport was transformed into the Daytona Beach International Airport. The new $46 million airport surpassed the design of the former airport, adding an international terminal and a newly extended 10,500-foot runway to accommodate larger aircraft.
Present – Daytona Beach International Airport offers carrier service from Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and season service from Sunwing, providing passengers with premier customer service, convenience and hassle-free travel.