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 7,637,801
Total Cargo (Lbs) 32,156,880
Source: Lee County Port Authority

Southwest Florida International Airport (IATA: RSWICAO: KRSWFAA LID: RSW) is a public 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, Sanibel Island, Marco Island, Captiva Island, Bonita Springs and Naples.

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

In 2013, passengers numbered 7,637,801. The airport is one of the busiest single runway airports in the country and 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 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. Also in 1993 the runway was lengthened to 12,000 ft (3,658 m). 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,[1] 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.[2][3]

A direct connection between Interstate 75 and the airport main entrance is currently under construction, which will allow airport-related traffic to avoid local streets. The project is expected to be completed by Spring 2015.[4] The terminal access road will also be expanded to six lanes.[5]


East Atrium
Main Terminal

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


For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2011, the airport had 83,385 aircraft operations, an average of 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]

Southwest Florida International 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
AirTran Airways
operated by Southwest Airlines
Atlanta (ends December 28, 2014), Chicago-Midway (ends November 1, 2014) B
American Airlines Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth D
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York-LaGuardia,
Seasonal: New York-JFK (resumes December 20, 2014)
Delta Connection Seasonal: Columbus (OH), Indianapolis, New York-LaGuardia C
Frontier Airlines Cleveland, Denver, St. Louis,[7] Trenton, Washington-Dulles
Seasonal: Milwaukee (begins January 8, 2015), Wilmington/Philadelphia
JetBlue Airways Boston, Newark, New York-JFK, New York-LaGuardia, Washington-National (begins December 18, 2014), White Plains
Seasonal: Buffalo (ends October 30, 2014),[8] Hartford/Springfield
Silver Airways Key West, Orlando D
Southwest Airlines Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago-Midway, Columbus (OH), Hartford/Springfield, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Washington-National
Seasonal: Akron-Canton (begins November 2, 2014), Albany, Buffalo, Cleveland, Denver, Flint, Grand Rapids, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Nashville, Providence
Spirit Airlines Atlantic City, Detroit
Seasonal: Boston, Chicago-O'Hare, Cleveland (begins January 15, 2015), Dallas/Fort Worth, Latrobe/Pittsburgh (begins December 18, 2014), Minneapolis/St. Paul
Sun Country Airlines Minneapolis/St. Paul D
United Airlines Cleveland, 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


Top ten busiest domestic routes out of RSW
(June 2013 – May 2014)[9]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Atlanta, GA 576,000 AirTran, Delta, Southwest
2 Charlotte, NC 256,000 US Airways
3 Detroit, MI 246,000 AirTran, Delta, Spirit
4 Chicago, IL (O'Hare) 232,000 American, Spirit, United
5 Boston, MA 216,000 AirTran, JetBlue, Spirit
6 Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN 195,000 Delta, Spirit, Southwest, Sun Country
7 Newark, NJ 188,000 JetBlue, United
8 Baltimore, MD 156,000 Southwest
8 Chicago, IL (Midway) 156,000 AirTran, Southwest
10 Dallas/Fort Worth, TX 150,000 American, Spirit
Busiest international routes from Fort Myers (2013) [10]
Rank Airport Passengers Carriers
1 Toronto 187,449 Air Canada, WestJet
2 Düsseldorf, Germany 74,591 Air Berlin, Condor
3 Montréal 6,253 Air Canada
4 Ottawa 5,937 WestJet

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.[11]
  • 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.[12]
  • 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.


External links[edit]