Southwest Florida International Airport
|Operator||Lee County Port Authority|
|Serves||Cape Coral and Fort Myers, FL|
|Location||Unincorporated Lee County, adjacent to Fort Myers|
|Elevation AMSL||30 ft / 9 m|
Southwest Florida International Airport (IATA: RSW, ICAO: KRSW, FAA LID: RSW) is a major county-owned airport in the South Fort Myers region of unincorporated Lee County, Florida, United States. The airport serves the Southwest Florida region, including the Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Naples-Marco Island, and Punta Gorda metropolitan areas, and is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection port of entry. It currently is the second-busiest single-runway airport in the United States, after San Diego International Airport, although a second runway is expected to open by 2020. In 2018, the airport served 9,373,178 passengers.
The airport sits on 13,555 acres (5,486 ha, 21.2 sq.mi.) of land just southeast of Fort Myers, making it the third-largest airport in the United States in terms of land size (after Denver and Dallas/Fort Worth). 6,000 acres of the land has been conserved as swamp lands and set aside for environmental mitigation.
Prior to the opening of the airport, the region was served by Page Field in Fort Myers. By the 1970s, however, it had become clear that Page Field would be too small to handle increasing future demand for commercial flights into the region. Expanding Page Field was determined to be impractical because its airfield was constrained by U.S. 41 to the west and expanding the airfield to the east would require bridging the Ten Mile Canal and relocating a railroad track.
A number of sites were considered for a new regional airport, including southern Charlotte County, Estero, and northeast Cape Coral near Burnt Store Marina. The government of Lee County ultimately selected a site near the end of Daniels Road which was a dirt road at the time. An advantage to this location was its proximity to Interstate 75, which was under construction and would have an interchange with Daniels Road, providing easy access (Interstate 75 was opened to traffic through Fort Myers in 1979).
Construction of the airport began in 1980, and it opened on schedule on May 14, 1983, with a single 8400-ft runway. At the time of its opening, the airport was named Southwest Florida Regional Airport (the airport code RSW is short for "Regional South-West"). Delta Air Lines operated the first flight. The original terminal was located on the north side of the runway at the end of Chamberlin Parkway.
The airport was renamed Southwest Florida International Airport in 1993, though it had hosted international flights since 1984 and U.S. Customs since 1987. The name change coincided with the completion of a 55,000 square foot Federal Inspection facility annexed to the original terminal's Concourse A. The runway was also lengthened to 12,000 ft (3,658 m) at the same time to better accommodate international service (making it the fourth-longest runway in Florida).
In 1988 the airport exceeded its annual capacity of 3 million passengers; by 2004, the airport was serving nearly 7 million passengers annually. The original terminal had 17 gates on two concourses. While three of the gates were added in a minor expansion of the B concourse in the late 1990s, the original terminal's design was not conducive to a major expansion.
With the terminal operating at more than double its intended capacity, construction of a new Midfield Terminal Complex began in February 2002. The $438 million terminal opened on September 9, 2005. The terminal, designed by Spillis Candela/DMJM Aviation, has three concourses and 28 gates and can eventually expand to five concourses with 65 gates. Demolition of the former terminal north of the airfield was completed in spring 2006. However, the original terminal's parking lot and other related infrastructure still stand at the end of Chamberlin Parkway.
In early 2015, Terminal Access Road, the airport's main entrance road, was extended past Treeline Avenue to connect directly to Interstate 75, allowing airport-related traffic to avoid local streets. The airport can now be accessed directly from the freeway at Exit 128. Terminal Access Road was then expanded to six lanes in late 2016.
Since beginning commercial airline service on May 14, 1983 through the end of 2018, about 195.3 million passengers (enplaned and deplaned) have transited through RSW. There has been approximately 2.6 million aircraft operations at the airport since its opening.
A new $16 million Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting facility (Lee County Station 92) opened in July 2013. A 9,100 ft (2,800 m) parallel runway is in planning. The project includes a relocated air traffic control tower, apron expansion, crossfield taxiway system, mitigation activities and FPL electrical line relocation. The new air traffic control tower and parallel runway were expected to be completed by 2019, however this has been pushed back to late 2020. The apron expansion and crossfield taxiway system were completed in late 2013. The entire project is estimated to cost $454 million.
In early 2018, the Lee County Port Authority (LCPA) announced plans to ease seasonal security wait times by expanding and relocating the current security checkpoints for each concourse. By relocating each checkpoint, there will be more restaurants, shops, and post-security spaces. According to the announcement by the LCPA, this expansion could cost between $150 million - $180 million.
Plans are in place for Skyplex a commercial and industrial park in the location of the old terminal. Other airport-related businesses, such as a hotel, are in the planning stages. A retail gasoline outlet near the airport's entrance opened in June 2014.
The airport covers 13,555 acres (54.9 km2), 10 mi (16 km) southeast of Fort Myers.
In 2018 the airport had 82,418 aircraft operations, average 226 per day.
The airport has one terminal with three concourses: Concourse B (Gates B1-B9), Concourse C (Gates C1-C9), and Concourse D (Gates D1-D10). Customs and Immigration services for international flights are located on the lower level of Concourse B. "Concourses A and E" designations have been reserved for the planned future expansion of the terminal.
Air Canada uses Gate B3
American uses Gates D1, D3, D5, D7, and D10
Eurowings uses Gate B1
Frontier uses Gates B5, B7, and B9
Delta uses Gates C2, C4, C6, C7, C8, and C9 (and occasionally a gate from the B Concourse to accommodate extra aircraft)
JetBlue uses Gates D4, D6, and D8
Southwest uses Gates B2, B4, B6, and B8
Spirit uses Gates D2, D4, D6, and D10
Sun Country uses Gate B9
United uses Gates C1, C3, C5, and C7
WestJet Uses uses Gates C1 and C7
|Air Canada Rouge|| TorontoPearson|
|American Airlines||Charlotte, ChicagoO'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Philadelphia,|||
|Delta Air Lines|| Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit,
Seasonal: New YorkJFK, New YorkLaGuardia
|Delta Connection||Seasonal: Boston, Cincinnati, ColumbusGlenn, Indianapolis, New YorkLaGuardia, Raleigh/Durham|||
|Frontier Airlines|| Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Philadelphia, Trenton|
Seasonal: Albany, Buffalo, ChicagoO'Hare, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Indianapolis, Long Island/Islip, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Omaha, Portland (ME), Providence, Syracuse
|JetBlue|| Boston, Newark, New YorkJFK, WashingtonNational, White Plains|
|Southwest Airlines|| Atlanta, Baltimore, ChicagoMidway, ColumbusGlenn, Hartford, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, St. Louis|
Seasonal: Albany, Buffalo, Cleveland, Dallas-Love, Denver, Grand Rapids, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Nashville, Providence, Rochester
|Spirit Airlines|| Atlantic City, ChicagoO'Hare, Detroit, Indianapolis (begins November 14, 2019)|
Seasonal: Akron/Canton, Baltimore, Boston, Cleveland, ColumbusGlenn, Hartford, Newark (begins November 14, 2019), Latrobe/Pittsburgh, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh
|Sun Country Airlines|| Minneapolis/St. Paul|
Seasonal: Gulfport/Biloxi, Madison, St. Louis
|United Airlines|| ChicagoO'Hare, Denver, HoustonIntercontinental, Newark, WashingtonDulles (begins October 29, 2019)|
|United Express||Seasonal: Cleveland, Washington-Dulles (begins May 1, 2020)|||
|UPS Airlines||Fort Lauderdale, Louisville, San Antonio, Tampa|
|1||Atlanta, Georgia||566,810||Delta, Southwest|
|2||ChicagoO'Hare, Illinois||332,490||American, Frontier, Spirit, United|
|3||Detroit, Michigan||288,390||Delta, Frontier, Spirit|
|4||Boston, Massachusetts||281,880||Delta, JetBlue, Spirit|
|5||Newark, New Jersey||255,470||JetBlue, United|
|6||Charlotte, North Carolina||244,930||American|
|7||Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota||232,790||Delta, Frontier, Southwest, Spirit, Sun Country|
|8||Baltimore, Maryland||216,800||Southwest, Spirit|
|9||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||181,900||American, Frontier, Spirit|
|1||Delta Air Lines||20.82%|
|Year||Passengers||Percent Change||Year||Passengers||Percent Change||Year||Passengers||Percent Change||Year||Passengers||Percent Change|
LeeTran bus No. 50 serves the airport.
Recent infrastructure and road projects linked the airport's main terminal road to the southbound and northbound lanes of Interstate 75. This is on top of previously existing roads connecting the airport to the region.
Media related to Southwest Florida International Airport at Wikimedia Commons