The Bailey Terminal at the Punta Gorda Airport was bustling Wednesday morning, but no one was getting on a plane. Instead, many people were renting cars or searching websites for flights from other cities. That’s because Direct Air, the airport’s primary carrier, suspended service Tuesday citing problems paying their fuel bill.
Passengers traveling through Southwest Florida International Airport will now go through advanced imaging technology or AIT, also known as body scanners. The Transportation Security Administration unveiled the new scanners last Thursday. They bounce harmless electromagnetic waves off the human body. New software protects passengers’ privacy by using only a stick figure. If there is a potential problem, the location of the threat is indicated on the drawing. The scanners use software that detect metallic and other threats, including explosives, concealed under a passenger’s clothing. READ MORE
A ceremony marking the opening of the new Page Field General Aviation Terminal in Ft. Myers Thursday included a tribute to the past.
Mail planes began flying of out Page Field in 1926. National Airlines established passenger service between New York and the City of Palms in 1937. Then, came World War II. Truman Wilson was a teenager in 1939 when pilots began training at the field.
“The first military plane that came here was a B17. I was in highschool and saw it fly over downtown Ft. Myers. I jumped in my Dad’s car and followed it over here and it landed in the sand spurs,” he recalled.
Lee County Commissioner and Port Authority Chair Frank Mann – a native son of Ft. Myers -- says one his first memories is of Page Field.
“I remember as little boy coming out here going through the MP gate and being flabbergasted by all the excitement of the planes and the noise and the activity,” he said.
After the war, commercial passenger service resumed but ended when Southwest Florida Regional Airport opened in 1983. Page Field then became a hub for general aviation. But, the old terminal fell into disrepair.
Today, in its place, there’s a state-of-the-art facility with amenities to appeal to travellers flying in private Lear jets and Gulfstreams.