Upcoming expansions at SWFL International Airport
Southwest Florida International Airport will soon begin the first stages of a major renovation and expansion project.
It should take three years, starting in October. It will be the second largest public works project in Lee County history, overtaken only by the airport’s Midfield terminal complex, which was completed in 2005.
The $ 331 million project will focus on improving RSW’s efficiency by consolidating and streamlining security checkpoints, adding concession spaces and providing passengers with more amenities and options in all. A 16-lane TSA checkpoint, new gateways and a business lounge will be among the results of the project. RSW saw record traffic this summer, and the Lee County Board of Port Commissioners sees this project as a wise next step to deal with this growth.
WINK News spoke to some travelers as they waited to catch their flights, and they said that while they didn’t run into a lot of trouble at RSW to begin with, they were excited to see what the expansion would bring.
“I hope we don’t lose that kind of hometown feel, you know,” Jim Cummings said. “But if it offers more destinations and more people coming here, [it] will probably expand the area… I think we are looking forward to it.
“The expansion will be good because we’ll have a variety of flights, more destinations, maybe bigger planes,” Michele Cummings said. “With all growth come adjustments, good and bad, don’t you? But I hope it will be for the best.
The project will be funded by grants from the Florida Department of Transportation, passenger installation fees, airport tax obligations, and construction funds from the Lee County Port Authority. No property tax is assigned to the operation or construction of the airport.
In addition to improving the passenger experience, the expansion is expected to create hundreds of jobs for the local economy.