FORT MYERS — A $331 million expansion and improvement project at Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers is set to begin next month.
Lee County Port Commissioners authorized the construction and total budget at a Sept. 21 meeting, according to a statement. The project, the statement adds, “focuses on improving the airport’s efficiency by consolidating and streamlining security checkpoints, adding concession space and providing passengers more amenities and options.”
The expansion at the airport, under the call letters RSW, is the second largest public works project in Lee County history — surpassed only by the airport’s Midfield Terminal Complex construction completed in 2005, the release states. Dubbed the RSW Terminal Expansion Project, work is set to begin in October, and construction is planned for three years.
Grants from the Florida Department of Transportation, Passenger Facility Charges, airport revenue bonds and Lee County Port Authority construction funds are the funding sources for the project. No property taxes are used for airport operation or construction, say airport officials.
“Southwest Florida International Airport is the front door to our community and supports travel, new business and tourism in our region,” Port Commission Chair Kevin Ruane says in the release. “We are pleased to start this essential project that will enhance infrastructure and manage growth while vastly improving the passenger experience at RSW. It will also create hundreds of jobs for our local economy.”
Plans for the project include consolidating TSA checkpoints into a new 16-lane configuration and providing additional seating, concession spaces and a business lounge. In total, more than 164,000 square feet of space will be remodeled, say airport officials, and 117,000 square feet of new walkways and concession space will be added to the airport terminal.
Atkins North America is overseeing design and planning of the RSW Terminal Expansion Project and Manhattan Construction is the construction manager/general contractor.
The Lee County Port Authority operates Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) and Page Field (FMY) in Fort Myers. RSW served nearly 6 million passengers in 2020 and has had record-breaking traffic this summer.