Not ideal for most, perhaps

As I may have mentioned, I’m just back from my holidays. This time round, there were no geriatrics to be taken care of and no rigid structure to keep to.

There was only myself, TLG, a nice hotel and an island in the sun. Which was very nice.

Some people may have been less than thrilled with the view from the pool, though…


That there would be the threshold for runway 05 at Madeira Airport. What, you’ve not heard of it? Oh well, I don’t suppose that too many of my regular readers have visited The World’s Scariest Runways

Madeira Airport

Who Flies There: Most scheduled (and many charter) European carriers.

Why It’s Harrowing: Wedged in by mountains and the Atlantic, Madeira Airport requires a clockwise approach for which pilots are specially trained. Despite a unique elevated extension that was completed back in 2000 and now expands the runway length to what should be a comfortable 9,000 feet, the approach to Runway 05 remains a hair-raising affair that pilots absolutely dread. They must first point their aircraft at the mountains and, at the last minute, bank right to align with the fast-approaching runway.

There is something to be said for an approach that requires both final and base legs below two thousand feet, and a landing that is below most of the visible houses…

A lot of people wouldn’t like that approach, and wouldn’t be keen on seeing it a dozen times a day as they lounge by the pool. But I was rather happy, if I’m honest. It didn’t look scary at all. It looked fun

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