Aeroporto da Madeira
|IATA: FNC – ICAO: LPMA|
|Operator||Aeroportos da Madeira|
|Location||Santa Catarina, Santa Cruz|
|Elevation AMSL||58 m / 190 ft|
|Source: Portuguese AIP|
Madeira Airport (IATA: FNC, ICAO: LPMA), informally known as Funchal Airport, and formerly known as Santa Catarina Airport, is an international airport in Santa Catarina, Santa Cruz. It is 13.2 km (8.2 mi) east northeast of the Cathedral of Funchal, Madeira, Portugal. The airport controls national and international air traffic for the island of Madeira. It was first opened on 18 July 1964 with two 1,600 m (5,249 ft) runways.
The airport was once infamous for its short runway which, surrounded by high mountains and the ocean, made it a tricky landing for even the most experienced of pilots. The original runway was only 1,600 m (5,249 ft) long, but was extended by 200 m (656 ft) 8 years after the TAP Portugal Flight 425 incident of 1977 and subsequently rebuilt in 2000, almost doubling the size of the runway. It was built out over the ocean; instead of using landfill, the extension was built on a series of 180 columns, each about 70 m (230 ft) tall. This airport is considered the Kai Tak of Europe because of its singular approach to runway 05. For the enlargement of the new runway the Funchal Airport won the 2004 Outstanding Structure Award, given by the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE). The Outstanding Structure Award is considered to be the "Oscar" for engineering structures worldwide. The History Channel program Most Extreme Airports ranked it as the 9th most dangerous airport in the world, and the second most dangerous in Europe after Gibraltar International Airport.
In 1972, the popularity of visiting the island of Madeira increased, so the runway had to be extended to allow modern and larger aircraft to land. Decisions were made to extend the existing runway instead of building a new one. In the meantime, a brand new terminal was built at the airport in 1973, handling 500,000 passengers.
Between 1982 and 1986, Madeira's runway was successfully extended by 200 m (656 ft) to a total of 1,800 m (5,906 ft), and also four gates were opened.
In 2000, the runway was again extended, to 2,781 m (9,124 ft), and it opened on 15 September.
The airport has a single terminal which opened in 1973. The terminal has 40 check-in desks, 16 boarding gates and 7 baggage belts. There are no air-bridges so passengers either walk the short distance to the terminal or are taken by shuttle bus. The terminal itself is mostly underground.
The extension of Madeira Airport was conducted by the Brazilian construction company Andrade Gutierrez, and is recognised worldwide as one of the most difficult to achieve due to the type of terrain and orography. In 2004 in Shanghai Dr. Manabu Ito, President of the International Association of Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE), presented the IABSE Outstanding Structure Award, which is given only to great works of engineering recognised worldwide.
Airlines and destinations 
Busiest Routes 
|1||Portugal||Lisbon||865,994||EasyJet, Portugália Airlines, TAP Portugal|
|2||United Kingdom||London||227,096||EasyJet, TAP Portugal, Thomas Cook Airlines, Thomson Airways|
|3||Portugal||Porto||218,992||TAP Portugal, Transavia|
|4||United Kingdom||Manchester||59,367||Jet2.com, Thomas Cook Airlines, Thomson Airways|
|5||Portugal||Porto Santo||47,684||SATA Air Açores|
|7||France||Paris||41,794||Aigle Azur, Europe Airpost, SATA Internacional, Transavia France|
|8||Finland||Helsinki||39,284||Air Finland, Finnair, Thomas Cook Airlines, Scandinavian|
Incidents and accidents 
- On 5 March 1973, an Aviaco Sud Caravelle 10R (Registration EC-BID) crashed into the sea during approach, losing the aircraft and three crew.
- On 19 November 1977, TAP Portugal Flight TP425, a Boeing 727–200 (Registration CS-TBR) was traveling from Brussels to Madeira via Lisbon. After a go-around, the aircraft attempted to land in poor weather conditions. It landed long on runway 24 (now runway 23) and plunged over a steep bank. It then struck a stone bridge and the right wing was torn off, and then crashed hard onto a beach. A fire then broke out, setting the aircraft alight. Out of the 164 on board, 131 lost their lives.
- On 18 December 1977, SA de Transport Aérien Flight 730, a Sud Caravelle 10R (registration HB-ICK) was cleared for approach on runway 06 (now runway 05), but descended below 720 ft (220 m) causing the aircraft to crash into the sea. 36 people died out of the 57 on board.
- AIP Part 3 – AD 2 Aerodromes
- 10 Most Dangerous Landing Strips in the World
- The Outstanding Structure Award
- Outstanding Structure Award
- The Most Extreme Airports (video). The History Channel. August 26, 2010.
- Voos directos de Espanha
- Estatística De Tráfego Aéreo 2010
- EC-BID at the Aviation Safety Network
- CS-TBR at the Aviation Safety Network
- HB-ICK at the Aviation Safety Network
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