Southwest Florida International Airport
|Southwest Florida International Airport|
|Operator||Lee County Port Authority|
|Serves||Fort Myers, Florida|
|Location||South Fort Myers, Florida|
|Focus city for||Sun Country Airlines|
|Elevation AMSL||30 ft / 9 m|
Southwest Florida International Airport (IATA: RSW, ICAO: KRSW, FAA 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: Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Captiva Island, Estero, Fort Myers, Marco Island, Naples and Sanibel Island. In 2015 passengers numbered 8,371,801. The airport is the second busiest single-runway airport in the United States after San Diego International Airport. It is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection port of entry.
The airport sits on 13,555 acres 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). Though, 6,000 acres of the airport's land includes swamp land that has been set aside for environmental mitigation. The airport code RSW means "Regional South-West" (for Southwest Florida Regional Airport). In 1993 the Lee County Port Authority renamed it Southwest Florida International Airport.
RSW was conceived in 1973 when it was clear that the existing airport in Fort Myers, Page Field, was too small to handle increasing numbers of commercial flights. Expanding Page Field was determined to be impractical since 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).
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 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, mainly for flights to Germany. 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). 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, the Airbus A330-300 seasonally to Minneapolis/St. Paul and the Boeing 767-300s operated by Delta Air Lines non-stop from Minneapolis/St. Paul, Atlanta, and Detroit .
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.
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.
Current and future projects
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 apron expansion and crossfield taxiway system were completed in late 2013. The entire project is estimated to cost $454 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.
- Runway 6/24: 12,000 x 150 ft (3,658 x 46 m) Asphalt Airport IQ 5010
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
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 and destinations
|UPS Airlines||Fort Lauderdale, Louisville|
|1||Atlanta, Georgia||597,000||Delta, Southwest, Spirit|
|2||Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois||313,000||American, Spirit, United|
|3||Detroit, Michigan||283,000||Delta, Spirit|
|4||Charlotte, North Carolina||238,000||American/US Airways|
|5||Boston, Massachusetts||229,000||JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit|
|6||Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota||221,000||Delta, Southwest, Spirit, Sun Country|
|7||Newark, New Jersey||215,000||JetBlue, United|
|10||Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas||152,000||American, Spirit|
|1||Toronto||133,534||Air Canada, WestJet|
Accidents and incidents
- September 8, 2005 – A Condor Boeing 767-300ER bound for Frankfurt, Germany returned safely to the airport after experiencing engine trouble. Ironically, this was the final flight to depart from the airport's original terminal.
- 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.
- 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.
LeeTran bus No. 50 serves the airport.
- Davis, Rob (20 April 2006). "Airport Questions Answered". Voice of San Diego. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
- "Southwest Florida Transportation: Are We There Yet?". Gulfshore Life. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- "Southwest Florida Regional Airport Environmental Impact Statement". Retrieved 15 August 2016.
- "Interstate 75". AA Roads. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
- "A History of Aviation in Lee County" (PDF). Southwest Florida International Airport. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- "Southwest Florida International Airport" (PDF). Freight Moves Florida. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- "Ready for Takeoff?". Southeast Construction. September 11, 2001. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
- "I-75onthego - I-75 Direct Connect". i75onthego.com. Archived from the original on May 23, 2015. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
- [dead link]
- "Southwest Florida International Airport". Flylcpa.com. Retrieved June 15, 2012.
- Loreno, Darcie (July 26, 2016). "Spirit Airlines expanding to Akron–Canton Airport". WJW (TV). Retrieved July 26, 2016.
- "RITA | BTS | Transtats". Transtats.bts.gov. Retrieved June 2016. Check date values in:
- "U.S.-International Passenger Data for Year To Date/Calendar Year 2013". Department of Transportation. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
- "RITA - BTS - Transtats". bts.gov. Retrieved June 2016. Check date values in:
- "Southwest Florida International Airport". flylcpa.com. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
- "The First 24 Hours". The News-Press. 9 September 2005.
- [dead link]
- "Passenger lands turboprop plane after pilot dies". CNN. April 13, 2009.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Southwest Florida International Airport.|
- Southwest Florida International Airport (official site)
- "Southwest Florida International Airport". brochure from CFASPP
- (PDF), effective January 5, 2017
- FAA Terminal Procedures for RSW, effective January 5, 2017
- Resources for this airport:
- AirNav airport information for KRSW
- ASN accident history for RSW
- FlightAware airport information and live flight tracker
- NOAA/NWS latest weather observations
- SkyVector aeronautical chart for KRSW
- FAA current RSW delay information
- PrivateSky® Aviation (Official Site) Serves as FBO and Gulfstream MRO Service Center