It may be the entry point for one of Europe's most idyllic holiday destinations, but Madeira Funchal Airport is also known for being one of the "world's most dangerous airports".
The airport in Madeira maybe the most dangerous airport in the world as the dangerous plane landing is the most common for the pilots that are often using it. The pilots really need to be in shape in order to get the landing on the runway right with just one mistake everything can go wrong and a disaster can happen.
With an unusually short runway, rocky hills on one side and a sheer drop into the ocean on the other, it is recognized by pilots as one of the most difficult landing spots in Europe, if not the world.
If this wasn’t enough, the exposed nature of the airport means landing planes are susceptible to strong winds and turbulence.
The short runway is has mountains on one side and ocean on the other, making it one of Europe's most tricky but breathtaking landings. The airport has just one terminal, which is mostly underground.
In 2004, its runway – which bears a disturbing similarity to Monaco’s famous tunnel on it Gran Prix circuit – was awarded the Outstanding Structure Award (“OSA”) for 2004 by the International Association of Bridge and Structural Engineering (“IABSE”).
Wedged between a steep cliff and the sea, Madeira’s Airport, formerly Santa Catarina Airport, is also known as Funchal Airport (IATA: FNC; ICAO: LPMA) has a single runway of just over 9100 feet capable of landing an A330. It’s similarity to Monaco is because a considerable segment of the runway is an extension built on a platform sitting atop 180 columns, each over 200 feet tall.
While the elevated platform gave pilots more runway, it did nothing to eliminate the turbulence and downdrafts for which the airport is still famous. And in the back of every pilot’s mind is that over-running the runways gets you a 200 vertical drop to the sea.