Work has begun on an $80m airport project at Southwest Florida International Airport.
A groundbreaking ceremony has taken place at the Fort Myers airport. It marks the official start of construction of a new Airport Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) and also Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON).
The current tower, built in 1982, will be replaced with a state-of the-art-facility next to the airport’s Aircraft Rescue & Fire Fighting Station.
Money from the Florida Department of Transportation and Airport Passenger Facility Charges helps fund the project. The Lee County Port Authority, Board of Port Commissioners, county officials, and also federal representatives attended the groundbreaking ceremony. They were joined by business partners as well as other state officals.
The construction will support more than 300 jobs. The tower is set to be operational by summer 2022.
Air industry vital to region
Jeff Mulder, A.A.E, executive director of the Lee County Port Authority, says, “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, 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.
Michael O’Harra, regional administrator for the FAA Southern Region, says, “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.
“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. It is on target to reach 10 million passengers in 2019. It is one of the top 50 U.S. airports for passenger traffic.
The image is taken from the website of contractor Kokolakis Contracting.