Southwest Florida International Airport

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Southwest Florida International Airport
Southwest Florida International Airport (logo).svg
Southwest Florida International Airport RSW.jpg


RSW is located in Florida
Location of RSW
Airport type Public
Owner Lee County
Operator Lee County Port Authority
Serves Fort Myers, Florida
Location South Fort Myers, Florida
Elevation AMSL 30 ft / 9 m
Coordinates 26°32′10″N 081°45′19″W / 26.53611°N 81.75528°W / 26.53611; -81.75528
Direction Length Surface
ft m
6/24 12,000 3,658 Asphalt
Statistics (2013)
Aircraft operations 80,729
Passengers 7,970,493 ('14)
Total Cargo (Lbs) 32,156,880

Southwest Florida International Airport (IATA: RSWICAO: KRSWFAA LID: RSW) is a county-owned airport in the South Fort Myers region of unincorporated Lee County, Florida. The airport's market is Southwest Florida: Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Estero Sanibel Island, Marco Island, Captiva Island, Bonita Springs and Naples.

RSW means "Regional South-West" (for Southwest Florida Regional Airport). In 1993 the Lee County Port Authority renamed it Southwest Florida International Airport.

In 2014 passengers numbered 7,970,493. The airport is the second busiest single-runway airport in the United States after San Diego International Airport.[1] It is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection port of entry.

LeeTran bus No. 50 serves the airport.


RSW was conceived in 1973 when it was clear that the existing airport in Fort Myers, Page Field, would be too small. The government of Lee County selected a site near Interstate 75, then under construction. Groundbreaking was in 1980, and Southwest Florida Regional Airport opened on schedule, May 14, 1983, with a single 8400-ft runway. Delta Air Lines operated the first flight. The original terminal was located along Chamberlain Parkway on the north side of the runway.

The airport was renamed Southwest Florida International Airport in 1993, though it had hosted international flights since 1984 and U.S. Customs since 1987, mainly for flights to Germany. The runway was lengthened to 12,000 ft (3,658 m) in 1993. The airport has hosted Boeing 747s (including Air Force One), but as of 2009 the largest aircraft scheduled to RSW are the Airbus A330-200s on Air Berlin non-stop flights to Düsseldorf.

Midfield Terminal Complex Expansion[edit]

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 19 gates on two concourses.

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,[2] 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.

Current and future projects[edit]

A new $16 million Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting facility 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 apron expansion and crossfield taxiway system were completed in late 2013. The entire project is estimated to cost $454 million. Other projects include the Madden Research Loop, a 25-acre (10 ha) project consisting of a research complex for the fields of science, technology and medicine. This project is being developed by Gulf Coast Technology Center, Inc.

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.[3][4]

A direct connection between Interstate 75 and the airport main entrance was completed in early 2015, which allows airport-related traffic to avoid local streets. The airport can now be accessed directly from the freeway at Exit 128.[5] The terminal access road will be expanded to six lanes.[6]


East Atrium
Main Terminal

The airport covers 3,431 acres (13.88 km²), 10 mi (16 km) southeast of Fort Myers.


In 2011 the airport had 83,385 aircraft operations, average 228 per day.

  • 798,000 sq ft (74,100 m2)
  • Design capacity is 10 million passengers per year, with 28 gates on 3 concourses (current B,C and D). The terminal buildings can be expanded incrementally to 65 gates on 5 concourses (A-E).
  • 11,250 spaces for hourly/daily parking
  • 30-space "cell-phone lot" for customers picking up arriving passengers
  • J.D. Power & Associates Airport Satisfaction Study – Ranked 2nd among North American airports with under 10 million annual passengers
  • Florida Department of Transportation 2008 Commercial Airport of the Year
  • Airports Council International-North America Excellence in Marketing and Communications 2008: 1st Place Special Events for Aviation Day
  • Airports Council International-North America 2008: 1st Place for Concession Convenience and 2nd Place for Food Concessions
  • Airports Council International-North America 2009: 2nd Place Newsletter – Internal or E-mail and 2nd Place Special Events – Berlin Airlift
  • Federal Aviation Administration 2009 Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Advocate and Partner Award
  • Florida Airports Council 2008 Environmental Excellence Award for Mitigation Park
  • Airport Revenue News 2008 Best Concessions Award for top Concessions Program Design

Airlines and destinations[edit]

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.

Airlines Destinations Concourse
Air Berlin Düsseldorf B
Air Canada Toronto-Pearson
Seasonal: Montréal-Trudeau
American Airlines Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth D
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York-LaGuardia
Seasonal: Cincinnati, New York-JFK
Delta Connection Seasonal: Columbus (OH), Indianapolis, New York-LaGuardia C
Frontier Airlines Cleveland, Cincinnati (begins April 30, 2015), Denver, Trenton, Washington-Dulles
Seasonal: Chicago-O'Hare (ends April 29, 2015), Milwaukee, St. Louis
JetBlue Airways Boston, Newark, New York-JFK, New York-LaGuardia, Washington-National, White Plains
Seasonal: Hartford
Silver Airways[8] Key West, Orlando D
Southwest Airlines Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago-Midway, Columbus (OH), Houston-Hobby (begins April 11, 2015), Indianapolis, Kansas City, Milwaukee (ends June 6, 2015), Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Washington-National
Seasonal: Akron-Canton, Albany, Buffalo, Cleveland, Denver, Flint, Grand Rapids, Hartford/Springfield, Long Island/Islip, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Nashville, Providence
Spirit Airlines Atlantic City, Detroit
Seasonal: Atlanta (begins September 10, 2015), Boston, Chicago-O'Hare, Cleveland, Dallas/Fort Worth, Latrobe/Pittsburgh, Minneapolis/St. Paul
Sun Country Airlines Minneapolis/St. Paul
Seasonal: San Juan (begins May 3, 2015)
United Airlines Cleveland (ends April 7, 2015), Houston-Intercontinental, Newark
Seasonal: Chicago-O'Hare, Denver
United Express Seasonal: Chicago-O'Hare, Houston-Intercontinental, Newark C
US Airways Charlotte, Philadelphia
Seasonal: Washington-National
US Airways Express Washington-National D
WestJet Toronto-Pearson
Seasonal: Ottawa


Busiest domestic routes out of RSW
(Dec 2013 – Nov 2014)[9]
Rank City (Airport) Passengers Carriers
1 Atlanta, GA 595,000 AirTran, Delta, Southwest
2 Charlotte, NC 250,000 US Airways
3 Detroit, MI 249,000 Delta, Spirit
4 Chicago, IL (O'Hare) 247,000 American, Spirit, United
5 Boston, MA 222,000 AirTran, JetBlue, Spirit
6 Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN 196,000 Delta, Spirit, Southwest, Sun Country
7 Newark, NJ 187,000 JetBlue, United
8 Chicago, IL (Midway) 154,000 AirTran, Southwest
9 Baltimore, MD 152,000 Southwest
10 Dallas/Fort Worth, TX 151,000 American, Spirit
Busiest international routes from Fort Myers January-June, (2014) [10]
Rank Airport Passengers Carriers
1 Toronto 133,534 Air Canada, WestJet
2 Düsseldorf, Germany 39,891 Air Berlin
3 Montréal 5,713 Air Canada
4 Ottawa 4,165 WestJet
Busiest airlines at Fort Myers
(December 2013 – November 2014)
Rank Airline Share
1 Delta 22.3%
2 Southwest 18.6%
3 JetBlue 12.3%
4 US Airways 10.2%
5 United 8.6%

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • November 28, 2007 – A single-engine fixed wing aircraft crashed about 9:20 a.m. one mile (1.6 km) west of Runway 6. The crash killed the pilot. This is the first reported crash on airport property.[12]
  • April 13, 2009 – A Beech King Air 200 (N559DW) was carrying four passengers when the pilot went unconscious and later died. Doug White, a passenger, was guided into the airport by air traffic controller Brian Norton, assisted by controller Dan Favio. It was later reported that White was a single engine private pilot with about 130 hours of experience in single engine aircraft. All passengers aboard survived and the plane was not damaged.[13]
  • On April 19, 2011, JetBlue Flight 464 bound for Boston Logan International Airport landed safely, then had its left wing clipped by a truck being escorted by an airline employee on a ramp, forcing the aircraft out of service.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Davis, Rob (20 April 2006). "Airport Questions Answered". Voice of San Diego. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  2. ^ "Ready for Takeoff?". Southeast Construction. September 11, 2001. Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ [2][dead link]
  5. ^ [3]
  6. ^ [4]
  7. ^ "Southwest Florida International Airport". Retrieved June 15, 2012. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "RITA | BTS | Transtats". Retrieved Feb 2015. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ RITA | BTS | Transtats
  12. ^ [5][dead link]
  13. ^ "Passenger lands turboprop plane after pilot dies". CNN. April 13, 2009. 

External links[edit]