Prior to the opening of the then Southwest Florida Regional Airport (RSW) in May 1983, commercial air service operated from Page Field near downtown Fort Myers. The growth experienced in Southwest Florida during the 1970s brought increased air traffic and passenger activity beyond the capabilities of Page Field. Limited capacity and incompatible land use on the land near Page drove the need for a new airport facility.
One key reason RSW was sited at the current location was the need to protect the citizens of Lee County from aircraft noise. In an effort to minimize the long-term impact of aircraft noise at the new facility, the Lee County Port Authority sponsored a Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) Part 150 Noise Compatibility Study. Following the approval of the study in 1990, land use control measures, including Airport Noise Zones were developed and incorporated in the Lee County Comprehensive Plan and the Land Development Code. Since 1990, LCPA has conducted three additional Part 150 noise studies (1995, 2006 and 2011) in order to minimize the long-term impacts of aircraft noise to a growing community.