Madeira’s vicious runway

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Madeira's vicious runway

If you have been to Madeira then you will know how beautiful it is but getting to the Portuguese Island can take nerves of steel.

For many pilots braving the vicious winds that seem to combat the plane in midair as it approaches the runway can be a nightmare. This can sometimes result in the pilot making a second attempt at landing after a failed approach.


In fact, landing is so difficult that only 20 captains from British Airways are qualified to land planes on the stilted runway.

The runway consists of 180 concrete pillars which lift it above the sea and is 9124 feet long, making it able to accommodate large aircrafts such as the Boeing 747 and Airbus A330.

It also serves a dual function as under the runway there is a parking lot, skateboard park, multi-use sport courts and roadways. It is no wonder that it won the 2004 Outstanding Structure Award.

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