FORT MYERS, Fla. — Southwest Florida International Airport is going through a bit of a face lift.
A new terminal expansion project is officially underway and it’s been dubbed as 'Phase 1 Terminal Expansion.'
The $331 million project is focusing on improving airport efficiency. Passengers are also going to have plenty more options when it comes to feeding their bellies. They won’t be confined to one particular area anymore as this new terminal will expand across multiple gates.
The terminal expansion will be consolidating three of its existing security checkpoints into one. About 120,000 square feet of food and beverage as well as retail space will be added to the airport with the new expansion. They will even be constructing a business lounge for those passengers who might want to get a little work done on their travels.
Ben Siegel, the Executive Director of Lee County Port Authority tells Fox 4 News their mission is to enhance the customer and guest experience when they visit RSW.
“You’re gonna have not just all the food and beverage shops that were available on the existing concourses, but you’re gonna have a whole new variety of new concepts for dining and shopping that will be available to you even before you get to the concourses," said Siegel. "It’s going to be really kind of a whole new experience for all of our guests when they go through there.”
The project is being funded with grants from the Florida Department of Transportation, Passenger Facility Charges (PFCs), airport revenue bonds and Lee County Port Authority construction funds.
Once completed, more than 164,000 square feet of space will be remodeled. With such a large project and so many travelers, the ongoing changes might have an impact on anyone coming through the airport right now. But staff say they are ready for any potential challenges ahead.
“When we’re doing a project of this magnitude and still planning to operate at 100% capacity, there will be challenges," Siegel said. "There’s no question about it. We’re going to have a very proactive communications program, we’re going to have people that are going to be available to obviously help our guests get to where they need to go.”
Construction of the new terminal is expected to be complete in three year's time.