lunes, 21 de septiembre de 2009

This is Funchal Airport's runway, in the Island of Madeira.

21 de septiembre de 2009.
It was one of the most dangerous in the world because its runway was just too short for large airplanes. It had to be extended and engineers had two options: Extend the ground base with extra soil and concrete, or build a platform on top of 180 230-foot pillars. The answer just looks spectacular.

Madeira Airport (IATA: FNC, ICAO: LPMA), (informally known as Funchal Airport, and formerly known as Santa Catarina Airport), is an international airport located near Funchal, Madeira, Portugal. The airport controls national and international air traffic of the island of Madeira.
The airport was opened on 18 July 1964 with two 1,600m 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 1600 metres in length, but was extended by 200 metres 8 years after the TAP Air Portugal Flight 425 incident of 1977 and subsequently rebuilt in 2000, almost doubling the size of the runway, building it out over the ocean. Instead of using landfill, the extension was built on a series of 180 columns, each being about 70m tall. This airport is also considered the Kai Tak of Europe because of its singular approach to runway 05[citation needed].

For the enlargement of the new runway the Funchal Airport has won the Outstanding Structures Award, given by International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE). The Outstanding Structures Award is considered to be the "Oscar" for engineering structures in Portugal.[1]