FORT MYERS — Construction has started on a $39 million expansion of the area around the passenger terminal at Southwest Florida International Airport that will eventually link it to a future second runway.
The Lee County Port Authority says the expansion of the apron and taxiway around the terminal will provide more space for more aircraft to move or park. The estimated completion date for this project is December 2013. The $39 million cost is split evenly between the Port Authority and the Florida Department of Transportation.
The taxiway and apron expansion paves the way for an eventual link to a second runway. The airport has commissioned the design of a second 9,100-feet runway and the relocation of the control tower to handle the expected future growth. That project is estimated to cost $432 million.
More than 7.5 million passengers passed through the Fort Myers airport in 2011. “In the short-term, this project is important to Southwest Florida International Airport because it will enhance the safe movement of aircraft and give us more aircraft parking, which will help during peak season and inclement weather,” says Robert Ball, executive director for the Lee County Port Authority, in a statement. “As part of our long-term growth plan, the added cross-field taxiway system will link our current and future runways.”