RSW planning security lane updates ahead of the holidays

We looked at the financial impact of a major airport project ahead of the holidays.

Southwest Florida International Airport is working to open more security lanes before the holidays. This comes as RSW continues to work toward completion of its $170 million airport expansion project.

“It is hectic,” Theresa Raedts said.

Air travelers like Raedts hope to avoid long lines going through security, so they can make their flights on time. Raedts is a frequent flyer, and she believes RSW will do a great job despite the project coinciding with a busy travel time.

“I think they might handle it fairly well,” Raedts said. “I do, I really do because they are handling tourists right now, and it’s working really well.”

Some at the airport are worried about the response to the holiday season amid the ongoing construction.

“It’s going to be a horror scene,” Michael Elgee said.

That’s why the airport is making changes to security checkpoints now, so that people flow through them faster. The project is expected to be completed by Thanksgiving.

In the future, RSW plans to change security altogether and create a single checkpoint that leads to all gates.

“I think one may be a good idea,” Elgee said.

That update is at least three years away. The airport is spending $1.7 million for the current security upgrades. RSW is funded by airline fees and grants from both Florida Department of Transportaion and the FAA.

RSW continues to see more travelers each year. The airport is on pace for 10 million travelers to pass through in 2019.

“It’s better to start planning ahead than wait until you got a problem,” Elgee said.

Reporter:Nicole Gabe
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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