The Lee County Port Authority, Board of Port Commissioners, county officials, business partners and other state and federal representatives held a groundbreaking ceremony marking the official start of the construction phase for a new Airport Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) and Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) facility at Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) in Fort Myers, Fla.
The new ATCT is an $80 million project that will replace the current tower, built in 1982, with a state-of the-art-facility located next to the airport’s Aircraft Rescue & Fire Fighting Station. The ATCT project is funded with money from the Florida Department of Transportation and Airport Passenger Facility Charges. The construction phase of the ATCT will support more than 300 jobs and operation of the tower is planned for summer 2022.
“With record-breaking passenger growth during the past several decades, the new Airport Traffic Control Tower project is a crucial investment in RSW’s infrastructure and will enhance the safety and capacity at Southwest Florida International Airport,” said Jeff Mulder, A.A.E, executive director of the Lee County Port Authority. “Commercial air transportation is vital to our community as it connects our region to the rest of the world and allows us access to an increasingly global marketplace.”
The new tower will be approximately 200 feet tall from the ground to the cab roof, which is more than twice the height of the existing tower. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Traffic Controllers will be able to view the entire airport and runway approaches under the current and future parallel runway configurations for both air and ground control.
“We will equip the new tower with the latest technologies so FAA Air Traffic Controllers can continue to provide the safest, most efficient service for flights at RSW for decades to come,” said Michael O’Harra, regional administrator for the FAA Southern Region. “Strengthening the infrastructure at this growing airport will benefit travelers in Fort Myers and throughout the National Airspace System.”
Southwest Florida International Airport served nearly 9.4 million passengers in 2018 and is on pace to reach 10 million passengers in 2019. Southwest Florida International Airport is one of the top 50 U.S. airports for passenger traffic. No ad valorem (property) taxes are used for airport operation or construction. For more information, visit www.flylcpa.com.