A continuous display of air traffic going to and from this weekend's Daytona 500 NASCAR races in Daytona Beach, Florida, is available on AOPA Online through Sunday. As many as 600 aircraft are expected to arrive between Thursday and Sunday for the world-famous races.
The near-real-time display of air traffic in the Daytona Beach area is being provided free for this weekend only by AOPA Certified partner Flight Explorer. ( AOPA Flight Explorer Personal Edition subscriptions are normally $8.95 per month for up to 10 hours of aircraft tracking.) The Daytona Beach-area "snapshot" images of Flight Explorer screens show the position of all IFR aircraft and all aircraft operating under VFR while using FAA flight following service. The image refreshes every five minutes and includes data blocks for each aircraft that show aircraft ID, altitude, speed, departure point, departure time, intended destination, and expected arrival time.
"This special display from Flight Explorer will help pilots make smarter and safer decisions, right in the critical planning phase," said Karen Gebhart, AOPA senior vice president for products and services. "They'll be able to see how the FAA is routing air traffic in the Daytona Beach area during the races, and how other pilots are avoiding the numerous restricted areas and MOAs in that part of Florida."
Arriving traffic for the races is expected to be heavy enough that the FAA is requiring slot reservations for all domestic non-scheduled IFR arrivals at Daytona Beach International (DAB), Ormond Beach Municipal (OMN), DeLand Municipal (DED), New Smyrna Municipal (EVB), Flagler County (X47), and Spruce Creek (7FL6) through Sunday.
NASCAR was founded in Daytona Beach in 1947, and the Daytona International Speedway was opened in 1959. About half a million fans are expected for the races, which will run through Sunday.