The Madeira Airport has a capacity to receive 3.500.000 passengers and is nowadays linked to 45 national and international airports, offering the modern most infra-structures, technologies and security.
For many years, the Madeira Archipelago was only accessible by sea. In march 1921 the first Lisboa-Funchal crossing took place on a hydroplane, yet it was only in July 1964 that the Funchal Airport is inaugurated, with many alterations and renovation ever since.
During decades, the runway was infamous for its small dimensions, surrounded by high mountains and by the ocean, forming a tricky landing for even the most experienced of pilots.
In the year 2000 the runway was enlarged to 2.781 meters, built over the ocean. Instead of using landfill, the extension was built on a series of 180 columns, each being about 70m tall. This construction won the Outstanding Structures Award, given by International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE), the most important award in engineering structures in Portugal.
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