Beaches are packed for the 10th Atlantic City Airshow today, expected to draw the largest crowd ever.

The audience for the annual event has grown during the past decade - and this year, the show is on a Friday when summer crowds already crowd the city. People have an easier time breaking away from work too.

"That made the difference," said 42-year-old Jason Whiting. "Mid-week is just too difficult."

Whiting drove from Branchville, Sussex County, with his wife, parents and two children for the show. They arrived just past 8 a.m. to claim shaded seats under the overhang at Boardwalk Hall.

The Whiting family is among the crowd that some city and airshow officials think could come close to 1 million people.

To prepare, organizers supplemented local public safety personnel with ambulance squads from nearby towns, plus units from the state police, the National Guard and Federal Aviation Administration, said Tom Foley, director of the city Office of Emergency Management.

The airshow's last act the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will perform at 3:30 p.m.

- Emily Previti

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