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Southwest Florida Airport's Terminal Expansion in Fort Myers to Finish in 2025

Wed March 22, 2023 - National Edition #8
Airport Technology

The Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) in Fort Myers has been undergoing an expansion of its terminal since 2021, a $331 million project that is planned to be complete in 2025.

The effort is being undertaken by the Lee County Port Authority (LCPA) to maximize the airport's terminal capacity, according to Airport Technology, an online industry news service. RSW also is being enlarged to offer passengers more facilities and services.

The construction project represents Lee County's second largest public works project in its history.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) provided $77.9 million in funding for the expansion, while LCPA granted $224.9 million. The rest of the costs will be covered by passenger facility charges and airport revenue bonds.

Officials are banking on the work helping RSW to meet the increased passenger traffic that has reached pre-COVID levels of more than 10 million passengers annually. In addition, the effort aims to improve the airport passenger experience by reducing wait times, improving Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint activities, increasing post-security offerings, connecting concourses and adding amenities.

The expansion also is intended to help promote travel and tourism in Florida, as well as boost the local economy by creating job opportunities.

Expanded RSW Terminal to Enhance Services

Airport Technology reported earlier in March that the terminal expansion at Southwest Florida International will involve combining three existing TSA checkpoints into a centralized 16-lane configuration. It also means construction crews will remodel a 164,000-sq.-ft. area within the facility and add 117,000 sq. ft. of new space, made up of new walkways to connect the terminal's three concourses, the concessions area and other facilities.

RSW's new TSA security checkpoints will feature clear and dynamic signage to direct passengers to the correct lanes, which will be fitted with new acoustical flat ceilings, diffuse lighting, and vinyl tile flooring. The checkpoint area's large cantilever wooden beams will conceal TSA cameras and lighting.

The expansion will encompass 16 phases of construction and involve renovating the new Airport Communications Centre, adding TSA administrative areas, non-public airport administrative spaces, and expand the seating and concessions within the business Sky Lounge. The project also includes the refurbishment of existing checkpoints and restrooms, as well as a new pet relief area.

In addition, a standalone remote loading dock building is being developed at RSW, as well as elevated ceiling heights, new terminal finishes and advertising displays. The new finishes will include a 60-ft.-tall ceiling that integrates fire protection lights and a public address system, according to Airport Technology.

The columns of the remote loading dock building have been completed, and construction of the concrete block walls began in January. The concrete roof at the terminal facing is currently being demolished, with floor installations having begun at the Airport Communications Center.

Already, demolition of the former human resources department area has been completed, along with the construction of two offices within the development division area.

Engineering company SNC-Lavalin, a Montreal, Quebec contractor, with an office in Fort Myers, oversees the design and construction administration services for the RSW terminal expansion under a five-year master services contract awarded in 2016. According to Airport Technology, the contract was extended until 2025 due to a delay in the project's construction and is estimated to be worth more than $26 million.

Atkins North America, a design firm and member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, was appointed as the project consultant.

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