Airport photo

Tall Structure Permit Program

Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) and its general aviation reliever airport, Page Field (FMY), serve as critical aviation infrastructure for Southwest Florida. The integrity of their effectiveness, efficiency and, most of all, margin of safety, is ensured by protecting the airspace and flight procedures surrounding these airports. This is accomplished by a joint urban/airport planning effort between Lee County, the city of Fort Myers and the Lee County Port Authority (LCPA). In order for RSW and FMY to provide the highest level of utility for the region and to protect aircraft and the flying public, a Tall Structure Permitting Program has been established in compliance with Federal Aeronautical Regulations (FARs) and state statutes.

Flight procedures and airspace around airports are protected by what is known as "imaginary surfaces" that extend outward and upward from airport runways at varying angles or slopes. When proposed development, natural growth/formations or temporary objects penetrate these surfaces, the potential of compromising safety and utility is present. To that end, Lee County established a notification requirement for all stakeholders (developers, crane operators, construction contractors, etc.) to acquire a permit when a proposed object, permanent or temporary, penetrates the notification surface. The notification surface is a two-dimensional plane typically referred to as the “125-to-1” since it extends upward at a ratio of 125:1 (125-feet horizontally for every 1-vertical foot) from each edge of the runway pavement.

If an object is expected to penetrate Lee County’s notification surface for RSW or FMY, a Tall Structure Permit is required before the proposed object is raised/constructed. If an object will clearly not penetrate the notification surface, then a permit is not required. NOTE: All objects that exceed 125 feet above ground level will require a Tall Structure Permit.

How to determine if you require a Tall Structure Permit

Determining whether or not your proposed equipment or structure requires a Tall Structure Permit is relatively easy. By utilizing the basic software program, Google Earth, provided by Google free of charge, you can identify the highest point(s) of your project and measure the linear distance between the point(s) and the nearest runway pavement edge of the nearest airport. Once this value is obtained, in feet, simply divide it by 125 and if the quotient is less than the proposed height of the object, then a permit is required. The runway elevation and site elevation of your project should be taken into consideration as well.


Tall Structure Permit Equation 

A permit IS required

A proposed building is planned to be constructed 3,500 (linear distance) feet southwest of RSW’s Runway 06 and its tallest point will exist 45 feet above ground level (AGL). The runway elevation is 27 feet above mean sea level (AMSL) and the site elevation of the building is 16 feet AMSL.


Tall Structure Permit Equation Example

A permit IS required since the object will penetrate the 125:1 notification surface by 6 feet.

If you are unsure whether your proposed equipment or structure will require a permit, please contact the Lee County Port Authority’s Noise & Airspace Project Coordinator. 

For more information, click the links below:

 Tall Structure Permit Program  Frequently Asked Questions
 Application Process  Links & Documents
 Rules & Regulations  Contact Us