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New Airport Runway In Portugal Featured

17 November 2009
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New Airport Runway In Portugal

These next few photos show roughly what a pilot would see as they would be approaching landing at Funchal Airport. Any mistake from the pilot and the whole plane, passengers and all could end up in the drink.

Funchal Airport was originally opened in 1964 and is infamous for it’s runway that is surrounded by high mountains on one side and the ocean on the other.The combination of mountains and ocean, with the runway right in the middle means that the flow of air around the runway is unpredictable. (Air temperature varies over land compared to water, sometimes creating abnormal air currents).Many pilots had trouble landing on the runway. To make matters worse the runway was originally very short, so some pilots who had trouble getting their planes down in time onto the runway, were then stuck with the problem of running out of runway!In 1977 a TAP Air Portugal Flight struck problems landing at the airport and slid off the end of the runway. As a result of the accident 125 passengers of 156 on board died, 6 out of the 8 crew also lost their lives. It was at the time the deadliest airplane accident in Portugal. TAP Air Portugal stopped flying Boeing 727 series 200 to the airport after this accident, instead only allowing the smaller 727-100 to land there.

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