Southwest Florida International Airport

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Southwest Florida International Airport
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 Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
Direction Length Surface
ft m
6/24 12,000 3,658 Asphalt
Statistics (2013)
Aircraft operations 80,729
Passengers 7,970,493 ('14)
Total Cargo (Lbs) 32,156,880

Southwest Florida International Airport (IATA: RSWICAO: KRSWFAA 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: Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Estero, Sanibel Island, Marco Island, Captiva Island, Bonita Springs and Naples.

The airport sits on 14,000 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 airports land includes swamp land that has been set aside for environmental mitigation.[1]

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.

In 2014 passengers numbered 7,970,493. The airport is the second busiest single-runway airport in the United States after San Diego International Airport.[2] It 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 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.[3] 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).[4] 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 and seasonally the Boeing 767-300s operated by Delta Air Lines non-stop from Minneapolis/St. Paul and Atlanta .

Midfield Terminal Complex expansion

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,[5] 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

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.[6][7]

A direct connection between Interstate 75 and the airport main entrance was completed in early 2015, which allows airport-related traffic to avoid local streets. The airport can now be accessed directly from the freeway at Exit 129.[8] The terminal access road will eventually be expanded to six lanes.[9]


East Atrium
Main Terminal

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


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

Airlines and destinations

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 Destinations Concourse
Air Berlin Düsseldorf B
Air Canada Toronto-Pearson
Seasonal: Montréal-Trudeau
American Airlines Charlotte, Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Philadelphia
Seasonal: Washington-National
American Eagle Washington-National D
Choice Aire
Operated by Swift Air
Charter: Havana B
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York-LaGuardia
Seasonal: New York-JFK
Delta Connection Seasonal: Cincinnati, Columbus (OH), Indianapolis, New York-LaGuardia C
Frontier Airlines Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Philadelphia, Trenton, Washington-Dulles
Seasonal: Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, St. Louis
JetBlue Airways Boston, Newark, New York-JFK, New York-LaGuardia, Washington-National, White Plains
Seasonal: Buffalo, Hartford/Springfield
Silver Airways[11] Key West, Orlando D
Southwest Airlines Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago-Midway, Columbus (OH), Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, St. Louis
Seasonal: Akron-Canton (ends April 11, 2016), Albany, Boston, Buffalo, Cleveland, Dallas-Love, Denver, Detroit, Flint (ends April 11, 2016), Grand Rapids (ends April 11, 2016), Hartford/Springfield, Houston-Hobby, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Nashville, Providence, Washington-National
Spirit Airlines Atlantic City, Detroit
Seasonal: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago-O'Hare, Cleveland, Dallas/Fort Worth, Pittsburgh-Latrobe, Minneapolis/St. Paul
Sun Country Airlines Cancun, Minneapolis/St. Paul, San Juan B
United Airlines Houston-Intercontinental, Newark
Seasonal: Chicago-O'Hare, Cleveland, Denver
United Express Seasonal: Chicago-O'Hare, Houston-Intercontinental, Newark C
WestJet Toronto-Pearson
Seasonal: Ottawa


Top destinations

Busiest domestic routes from RSW (Oct 2014 – Sep 2015)[12]
Rank City (Airport) Passengers Carriers
1 Atlanta, Georgia 593,000 Delta, Southwest, Spirit
2 Charlotte, North Carolina 263,000 US Airways
3 Detroit, Michigan 261,000 Delta, Spirit
4 Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois 258,000 American, Spirit, United
5 Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota 216,000 Delta, Spirit, Southwest, Sun Country
6 Boston, Massachusetts 207,000 JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit
7 Newark, New Jersey 202,000 JetBlue, United
8 Chicago–Midway, Illinois 163,000 Southwest
9 Baltimore, Maryland 163,000 Southwest
10 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 157,000 American, Spirit
Busiest international routes from RSW (2014) [13]
Rank Airport Passengers Carriers
1 Toronto 133,534 Air Canada, WestJet
2 Düsseldorf, Germany 39,891 Air Berlin
3 Montréal 5,713 Air Canada
4 Ottawa 4,165 WestJet
Airline market share
Largest airlines at RSW
(Sep. 2014 – Aug. 2015)
Rank Airline Share
1 Delta 22.44%
1 Southwest 22.44%
3 JetBlue 12.32%
4 US Airways 9.56%
5 United 8.62%

Annual traffic

Annual passenger traffic (enplaned + deplaned) at RSW, 1983 through 2015[15]
Year Passengers Year Passengers Year Passengers Year Passengers
2010 7,514,316 2000 5,207,212 1990 3,734,067
2009 7,415,958 1999 4,897,253 1989 3,231,092
2008 7,603,845 1998 4,667,207 1988 3,115,124
2007 8,049,676 1997 4,477,865 1987 2,687,053
2006 7,643,217 1996 4,317,347 1986 2,129,548
2015 7,536,442 2005 7,518,169 1995 4,098,264 1985 1,701,969
2014 7,970,493 2004 6,736,630 1994 4,005,067 1984 1,311,937
2013 7,637,801 2003 5,891,668 1993 3,717,758 1983 544,636
2012 7,350,625 2002 5,185,648 1992 3,472,661
2011 7,537,745 2001 5,277,708 1991 3,436,520

Accidents and incidents

  • September 8, 2005 – A Condor Airlines Boeing 767 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.[16]
  • 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.[17]
  • 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.[18]
  • 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.

See also


  1. "Southwest Florida Transportation: Are We There Yet?". Gulfshore Life. Retrieved October 12, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Davis, Rob (April 20, 2006). "Airport Questions Answered". Voice of San Diego. Retrieved March 17, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "A History of Aviation in Lee County" (PDF). Southwest Florida International Airport. Retrieved October 12, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Southwest Florida International Airport" (PDF). Freight Moves Florida. Retrieved October 12, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Ready for Takeoff?". Southeast Construction. September 11, 2001. Retrieved July 20, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. [1]
  7. [2][dead link]
  8. "I-75onthego - I-75 Direct Connect". Retrieved June 14, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. [3]
  10. "Southwest Florida International Airport". Retrieved June 15, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Route Map". Retrieved June 14, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "RITA | BTS | Transtats". Retrieved Nov 2015. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "U.S.-International Passenger Data for Year To Date/Calendar Year 2013". Department of Transportation. Retrieved June 14, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "RITA - BTS - Transtats". Retrieved Nov 2015. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Southwest Florida International Airport". Retrieved June 14, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "The First 24 Hours". The News-Press. September 9, 2005.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. [4][dead link]
  18. "Passenger lands turboprop plane after pilot dies". CNN. April 13, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links