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Airport celebrates 30 years of service

By Staff | May 16, 2013

Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) celebrated 30 years of service to Southwest Florida on May 14.

On its 10th anniversary in 1993, the airport was renamed Southwest Florida International Airport to reflect its emerging global status. Due to dynamic growth in the region and at the airport, the Lee County Port Authority planned and designed a new state-of-the-art facility, which opened on Sept. 9, 2005, as one of the newest airport terminals in the nation.

Southwest Florida International Airport has served more than 147 million passengers over the last 30 years, surpassing all expectations from its modest beginning. In 1984, the first full year of operations, the airport served 1.3 million passengers. In March 2013, more than 1.1 million passengers traveled through the airport in a single month.

The airport enjoys service from major and low-fare airline partners and has had nonstop trans-Atlantic flights for 19 years. Nineteen air carriers serve RSW with nonstop service to 40 destinations, including Germany, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto, as well as endless connection possibilities through some of the largest hubs in the world.

“Southwest Florida International Airport has a bright future and we will continue to meet the air transportation needs of the region we serve,” said Robert M. Ball, executive director of the Lee County Port Authority. “The airport’s success can be attributed to its location in one of the nation’s most desirable destinations and we are proud of our contribution to the overall growth and development of Southwest Florida.”

RSW generates a regional economic impact of more than $3.8 billion annually and is run entirely on revenue generated from its operations. No ad valorem (property) taxes support its operations or construction.

In 2012, more than 7.3 million passengers traveled through Southwest Florida International Airport, making it one of the 50 busiest airports in the nation for passenger traffic.