Tap to unmute

Europe's toughest airport landing used to be a lot harder

  • Publicado em 1 Mai 2022
  • Funchal Airport, on the island of Madeira, was too short for modern commercial airliners: but there was nowhere to extend to. The solution is one of the greatest civil engineering projects of our time.
    Producer: Aitken Pearson firecrestindependent.com
    Assistant Producer: Elsa Gouveia
    Camera: Elton Cantoni
    Editor: Dave Stevenson davestevenson.co.uk
    The 1990 photo of the airport is by Peter Forster, "pizzodisevo 1937", and was posted to Flickr under a Creative Commons by-sa 2.0 license here: www.flickr.com/photos/3181872... - license details at creativecommons.org/licenses/...
    I'm at tomscott.com
    on Twitter at tomscott
    on Facebook at tomscott
    and on Instagram as tomscottgo

Comentários • 1 561

  • Tom Scott
    Tom Scott  4 meses atrás +2299

    I've got another channel that's about collaborating with other BRcliprs! The most recent video is way outside of my comfort zone, and I'm really proud of it, if only for the part where I'm defeated by sheep: brclip.com/video/T4tcZAduiVk/video.html

  • ondank
    ondank 4 meses atrás +5615

    This week in "Tom wants to find a way to make a holiday a business expense" we have ... Madeira!

    • Diogo Silva
      Diogo Silva Dia atrás

      Wait, you know about the dream lsland?

    • Brian
      Brian 17 dias atrás

      I mean…. With 1.8mm views on this video, I’d say it’s a legitimate business expense… only he’s built a business which has substantial personal perks.

    • Chris Neale
      Chris Neale 3 meses atrás

      He needs to check out the volcanic sands of tenerife. In... let's say, August.

    • Leonhard Jorma Greife
      Leonhard Jorma Greife 3 meses atrás

      @Ryan oh so that's why you guys are so pale?

    • dronespace
      dronespace 4 meses atrás +1


  • BazilRat
    BazilRat 4 meses atrás +7618

    He's not wrong. This is the kind of thing where he's been a civil engineer for more than 25 years after the project (god that make me feel old...) and it's still a career-defining 'I was part of the team that did this' structure.

    • Aaron Davis
      Aaron Davis Mês atrás +1

      Underneath, it's like the Great Hall in Moria. Except thankfully there are no orcs or balrogs.

    • Manu Sharma
      Manu Sharma Mês atrás

      @ConfusedOilPainter and people like you are the reason we have structural disasters where a number of people end up losing their lives. Bravo!

    • BazilRat
      BazilRat 2 meses atrás

      @ConfusedOilPainter It's something the whole team, builders, designers, and engineers can all be proud to have been part of, 25-30 years later.

    • ConfusedOilPainter
      ConfusedOilPainter 2 meses atrás

      But engineers dont actually "do" the structures.. they help plan them.. but they do not have anything to do with building them or maintaining them. They are a much smaller piece of the puzzle than they like to think.

    • md tarip hossain
      md tarip hossain 4 meses atrás


  • Jordan Tierney
    Jordan Tierney 4 meses atrás +6590

    Nobody’s talking about how the engineer at the end acknowledged the role of the construction team. As an engineering student , I know a lot of times engineers like to take all the credit. But that guys right, engineers can’t do anything if there’s no one to build the design. What a class act.

    • Jadude116
      Jadude116 26 dias atrás


    • H B
      H B Mês atrás

      @Ali Baba how does "don't know what they are doing" sound ?

    • tt 321
      tt 321 Mês atrás +1

      @MyTech True. It's the architect and engineer who will go to jail if something catastrophic happens because of their negligence, hence they should take proportional credit for that.

    • Arvara
      Arvara 2 meses atrás

      I haven't worked on a single project where everything went smoothly according to plans. Every complex building project will have issues pop up left and right that the actual construction workers have to identify and solve. If the problem is too big, it goes back to the engineers. You don't want to be the guy holding up hundreds of people from doing their job.

    • ShihammeDarc
      ShihammeDarc 2 meses atrás

      It's easy to replace the construction team with robots though, but it is harder to do the same for engineers, maybe that's why they aren't acknowledged much.

  • Swiss001
    Swiss001 4 meses atrás +1956

    We live for Tom Scott‘s airport videos

  • [TUM] H4rdStyl3z
    [TUM] H4rdStyl3z 4 meses atrás +1956

    Something Tom didn't mention was that, prior to the extension, TAP Portugal Flight 425 fatally overran the runway at Madeira airport in 1977. This remains, to this date, TAP's only fatal accident on record. Due to the alarming safety concerns following Portugal's flag carrier having such a tragic accident, this was the main event that prompted the successive extension works on the runway of this airport.

    • Rudi van Goch - Aviation Videography
      Rudi van Goch - Aviation Videography Mês atrás +1

      Just near the western end of the runway there is a nice monument erected in memory of the passengers who died in this accident.

    • L S Martins
      L S Martins 2 meses atrás +1

      @carlos Pelos vistos, vc. deve ser um homem com grandes virtudes. Fez bem em sair do país, se apenas sabe denegrir a sua imagem perante terceiros. Não volte, pois a sua presença poderia ser tóxica!

    • Bert Bergers
      Bert Bergers 3 meses atrás +2

      @carlos the time it takes in the Netherlands for huge projects to be agreed upon, funded and undertaken is comparable, has nothing (much) to do with culture, but rather to every four years (in most democracies) other people putting their egg in the basket (of that project) and after decision has been made, there is the opportunity for people to complain and have things viewed by a judge if no arrangement could be made, and then local authorities have some special interests themselves which takes alteration again.

    • Bert Bergers
      Bert Bergers 3 meses atrás +2

      @DogLookingBackAtYou you missed the point about the project taking 9 years to complete, probably due to summers not being able to do much while the airport is still operating.
      And prior to those 9 years of construction there needed to be politicians who had to agree to raising and spending the money on that project.

    • Allpoints Surveyor
      Allpoints Surveyor 4 meses atrás +2

      When we landed there in 1972 our tour guide mentioned there had recently been a short extension of just the runway (without a taxiway). It felt like we were still doing 40 to 50 knots when we took the mid-runway exit (probably because of the shallower angle than the last exit) to the taxi way, then completed our deceleration on the taxiway. Our guide said pilots were loathe to use the extension as following flights would need to circle until the plane could either turn around and taxi back up the runway or possibly be pushed back by a tug.

  • Philip Brechler
    Philip Brechler 4 meses atrás +1311

    I really appreciate you leaving everybody who doesn't speak English speak their native language in these videos and then subtitle them, I really enjoy hearing the nuances in their voices.

    • Sérgio Luz
      Sérgio Luz 2 meses atrás

      @Chris Amies Good luck with that! Although the Portuguese people always try to speak English with foreigners, we appreciate the ones who try to speak our language! There are many youtube channels that can help you with the task, like "Portuguese with Leo" and "Talk the Streets".

    • BeeGee1004
      BeeGee1004 4 meses atrás

      YES, I prefer that too, hearing the person speak their language and seeing subtitles

    • James Crist
      James Crist 4 meses atrás +2

      @Bacopa68 I spent two years in Portugal less than a decade ago and became exceptionally fluent; Your explanation of the continental accent is spot on. XD Brazillian Portuguese is a different story.

    • C Silva
      C Silva 4 meses atrás

      @Bruno Barcelos brazilians are attention seekers

    • Chris Amies
      Chris Amies 4 meses atrás +1

      I'm currently learning Portuguese (of the European variety) and comprehension is the issue for me. (in its written form it's close enough to Spanish which I already speak). A pleasant surprise to hear this!

  • KC Talks EV
    KC Talks EV 4 meses atrás +1300

    When Tom said "for most passengers this is a normal landing at a normal airport".
    I think that summarises engineering: allows the difficult, almost impossible without the vast majority of people realising (while still somehow within technological and budget constraints).

    • H B
      H B Mês atrás

      @Achim Too fast on approach - you go round. Too slow on take -off - you abort. Simples. 2800 metres is arguably a lot more than is necessary, but there is no harm in having extra margin for error.

    • sadie p
      sadie p Mês atrás

      It's a normal landing, but the approach is quite exciting with lots of banking!

    • Achim
      Achim 2 meses atrás

      @Steve Michael And you shouldn't think about what will happen if for any reason a plane is too fast at touchdown or doesn't pick up enough speed at takeoff...

    • Loturzel Restaurant
      Loturzel Restaurant 4 meses atrás +1

      @Magical Hobo 3000 Extremly thought-provoking: 'Second Thought' and 'Some More News' (at least his
      Videos about Work and Unions, which ALL worker-class-humans should see.

    • Bernon Aarey
      Bernon Aarey 4 meses atrás +3

      That's what I love about rail (or road) tunnels and bridges. How the railway just carries oblivious to the terrain...

  • Gadget Addict
    Gadget Addict 4 meses atrás +2221

    I've landed on this in some flight simulators and I can confirm that even with 30 minutes of practice, it's a difficult runway to land on.

    • H B
      H B Mês atrás

      @Jorge Trincheira The certification is trivial.

    • H B
      H B Mês atrás

      @Glenna Howell Gibraltar and Genoa are both very awkward, as is Lugano. Many pilots are still frightened of Innsbruck. Of the smaller airports Engadin and Courchevel are difficult. I hated Bornholm, but the locals told me that winds I had to deal with were a "once every ten years" event.

    • H B
      H B Mês atrás

      @Quotenwagnerianer Height and turn rate are on the approach charts.

    • H B
      H B Mês atrás

      @Nabend1402 Chuck Yeager many, many years before.

    • H B
      H B Mês atrás

      Oh dear. Did your simulator buffet you as you executed the 180 degree turn, so that you lost sight of the runway ? Did you experience windshear and gusting crosswinds ? Of course not. Perhaps you haven't fully understood the problem.

  • Mandy B
    Mandy B 4 meses atrás +1773

    That is one heck of an engineering feat! And extra comfort for the passengers, you know you've got some of the world's best commercial pilots flying you in and out.
    Great video, Tom. Hope you enjoyed your time there!

    • H B
      H B Mês atrás

      ... and also Ryanair pilots.

    • Chris Hayes
      Chris Hayes 4 meses atrás +2

      @Hotpies it was appropriately used. OP being considerate towards the younger viewers who watch Tom Scott.

    • 41Haiku
      41Haiku 4 meses atrás +6

      @Hotpies I'm not your son, kid.
      (Wait, wrong website.)

    • Hotpies
      Hotpies 4 meses atrás +5

      That's one hell of a swear son

  • Madeira Airport Spotting
    Madeira Airport Spotting 4 meses atrás +282

    Really cool video about my airport, great job Tom!

    • Madeira Airport Spotting
      Madeira Airport Spotting 4 meses atrás +3

      @pyRoy6 Yes

    • pyRoy6
      pyRoy6 4 meses atrás +3

      @Madeira Airport Spotting Oh! I'll look for videos of that. Are they labeled?

    • Madeira Airport Spotting
      Madeira Airport Spotting 4 meses atrás +8

      @pyRoy6 Yes, depending on the wind direction, both runways can be used!

    • Madeira Airport Spotting
      Madeira Airport Spotting 4 meses atrás

      @Pearce Biffle Thanks a lot :)

    • pyRoy6
      pyRoy6 4 meses atrás +2

      Do planes land and take off in both directions? I took a look at a handful of your videos and it looks like they always head toward the elevated section (which feels safer, even if it might not really make a difference).

  • Sensay
    Sensay 4 meses atrás +448

    I like Tom's description of Madeira being just a mountain sticking out of the ocean because that's literally what it is, no matter where you want to go you'll be going up or downhill, a walk could technically be considered a hike, and driving a manual car here can get really tough.
    I remember when the runway was being built too, my workplace is almost just bellow it so I get to hear them planes arrive all day, (though a moderatelly bad weather day is enough to detour planes elsewhere). I still get nervous when I take trips outside the island, landings DO get really bumpy, massive respect for the pilots.

    • Joel Fernando
      Joel Fernando Mês atrás

      The only good thing about madeira its their small bananas and the hability to have your company headquarters in an hotel room and that way evade taxes.

    • taridean
      taridean 4 meses atrás

      When people ask me about travelling to Madeira I always tell them the following...
      1.) If you're scared of heights or shear drops in terrain, you might struggle.
      2.) You have to be reasonably fit if you want to go for walks because you will have to go uphill at some point 😄.

    • Rolling Light
      Rolling Light 4 meses atrás +4

      At last we've found the place all our grandparents went to school going uphill both ways.

    • The GhostHero
      The GhostHero 4 meses atrás +1

      I'm sure he's making a video on the levadas canals that bring whatever down to the coast because their is no rivers, expelling how old they are and the effort to maintain them.

    • Vanta Blue
      Vanta Blue 4 meses atrás

      I'm not surprised. It takes a special kind of driver to handle such terrain

  • Paul Boris IV
    Paul Boris IV 4 meses atrás +768

    Fun Fact:
    Madeira is portuguese for "Wood"
    The reason dates back to when we found it, as much as it was a mountain, it was an incredibly thick forest, the settlers decided that instead of cutting them down to make space, it would be more efficient to just simply burn it, they say it burned for entire months due to the sheer thickness of the woodland there.
    this is really fun to watch, good to see you hop by portugal Tom! would love for you to cover some more portugal stuff!
    for example the Museum-looking Mcdonalds in Porto (super cool), or our cork industry, i have a phone, that, aside from the electronics and screen obviously, is made from cork...

    • Misery Man
      Misery Man 4 meses atrás +1

      I wish I could see that fire.. As much of a shame as it is, it must've looked amazing.

    • PiousMoltar
      PiousMoltar 4 meses atrás

      That's tragic...

    • Kaitlyn L
      Kaitlyn L 4 meses atrás +3

      @Paul Boris IV people still do that today, such as clearing old old Amazon rainforest trees for cattle-grazing or soybean plantation land. They don’t want to wait or pay for felling, and the farm products bring higher returns than selling the wood would do.
      Though of course it’s one thing to do it for a settlement centuries ago, and another to make it standard business practice while aggressively expanding today. Especially because it’s not just about the wasted wood, but also can contribute to carbon emissions which weren’t a problem a few centuries ago.

    • Hotmen _pro_
      Hotmen _pro_ 4 meses atrás +1

      @Simon Russell Madeira cake is the typical honey cake

    • Hotmen _pro_
      Hotmen _pro_ 4 meses atrás +1

      @almahperditae they would probably find some foundations or something. But they never did. Madeira was inhabited since it's creation until 1419.

  • Marcin Bator
    Marcin Bator 4 meses atrás +164

    I had a pleasure of landing on that airport during one of the windiest times. 2 days later the airport was closed for almost 3 days due to wind. Pilots did an outstanding job, but I will forever remember looking out of the window, seeing the landing strip and my brain kicking in with the realization that we are at something close to a 45 degree angle to the landing strip. Quick heart attack later we were safely on the ground. Amazing what these pilots can do.

    • H B
      H B Mês atrás

      @Hélder Tomás The instrument approach in the opposite direction is about as easy as it gets. My Portuguese friend says that in the planning stages the joke was that it would be easier to build some giant wind shields, so that the easy approach was more often available.

    • Call me Shaggy
      Call me Shaggy Mês atrás

      Crab landing

    • Motocicleiros
      Motocicleiros 4 meses atrás +5

      I cannot agree that it has been a *pleasure*. Maybe thrilling but definitely not a pleasure.

    • Hélder Tomás
      Hélder Tomás 4 meses atrás +5

      It is a short final for sure!

  • Ashley Strout
    Ashley Strout 4 meses atrás +378

    I've known about this runway for a while, but it was interesting to see a more detailed video about its construction and the forces the builders were contending with. Thank you, Tom. And now I want to go to Madeira.

    • S.W.W.
      S.W.W. 2 meses atrás

      @K9Carry -Gabriel- But Porto Santo's beaches , just a short boat trip away, are truly paradisiac!

    • Hotmen _pro_
      Hotmen _pro_ 4 meses atrás

      @K9Carry -Gabriel- good touristic places are just a plague in this island. If you want authenticity, you should always keep away from them

    • K9Carry -Gabriel-
      K9Carry -Gabriel- 4 meses atrás +1

      It's a great place, my girlfriend is from Madeira and we have been there a couple times and it is awesome. You want beach ? Just drive an hour to one. You want mountain ? Same story. What i advise you to do is don't stick just to the typical tourist places, like the restaurants or coffee shops by the beach, but just go where the locals usually go and you will find the best food and service.

  • Ricardo L.
    Ricardo L. 4 meses atrás +95

    Just to make it clear, the last accident (TAP Air Portugal Flight 425) in 1977 which killed 131 people was one of the reasons this runway extension was later made. There hasn't been any incidents on the runway since the extension.

    • Call me Shaggy
      Call me Shaggy Mês atrás

      @AlphaPT nah OP is right. Deal with it?

    • Don'tSpikeMyDrink
      Don'tSpikeMyDrink 2 meses atrás

      @AlphaPT cope with ratio bruh

    • A A
      A A 4 meses atrás

      @AlphaPT so the biggest thing to go there was a 747-200?

    • AlphaPT
      AlphaPT 4 meses atrás

      Just to make it clear, you're incorrect.
      As stated many times, the extension was made to accommodate the bigger airliners that were being built, and the need to keep up, as Madeira is an island that relies on tourism to survive. That was even shown on the airport inauguration, where they had a 747-200 land there. And, outside Flight Sim enthusiasts, that was the only time that kind of aircraft landed there. As even the commander of that flight commented it was probably not the safest thing to do on a daily basis.
      So, know your facts and stop spreading false statements.

    • Rui Gouveia
      Rui Gouveia 4 meses atrás +3

      Not this extension. In 1986 the runway was extended from 1600 meters to 1800.
      The extension in year 2000 of 1000 more meters was simply to allow the island tourism to expand

  • Tomas Green
    Tomas Green 4 meses atrás +151

    I went there in the 80's before the extension. The landing was of the faster, harder (Scooter) type for sure, and the plane had to have very little fuel in it on the return trip to Sweden to be able to take off so we had to make a brief stop-over in Portugal on the way home to re-fuel. :)

    • H B
      H B Mês atrás

      @Jarek Nowak Bromma to you.

    • Tomas Green
      Tomas Green 4 meses atrás

      @Arthur Haha thanks! 😁

    • Jarek Nowak
      Jarek Nowak 4 meses atrás

      Arlanda Airport!!

    • Arthur
      Arthur 4 meses atrás +9

      You get a like for the Scooter reference

    • Martin Spencer
      Martin Spencer 4 meses atrás +9

      Our plane refuelled on Porto Santo, so the tanks must have been almost empty on take-off!

  • Ingvar Hallström
    Ingvar Hallström 4 meses atrás +145

    We went to Madeira on holiday before the extension and the runway was scary short. You could really feel the pilots were super focused on the approach and applied maximum breaks as soon as they had gottent all wheels on the runway. It was never a question of being beyond the limits but you could really feel the safety limit wasn't very far away. Easily the most intense landing I've ever experienced.

    • Ian Kemp
      Ian Kemp 4 meses atrás +2

      Same here, went there on honeymoon. Was told by friends of airline pilots that Funchal had a different landing technique to most airports. Not "glide down, brake gently, slow gradually for passenger comfort" but "aim for the start of the runway, pancake down, brake HARD." Only similar airport I remember was Florence. Going there in 1997 I was patriotically pleased to see all the planes were BaE 146s. Then I saw the runway length with a motorway straight beyond the perimeter fence. No other jet could take off safely! The 146 was designed to be able to get into Hebridean islands etc.

    • brunoais
      brunoais 4 meses atrás +3

      @Luna Diana Pacheco It's max auto-brakes. Not definitive max braking capability of the plane :)

    • Ingvar Hallström
      Ingvar Hallström 4 meses atrás +7

      @Luna Diana Pacheco Did I say over the limit? Yes? No? I said within the limits....

    • Luna Diana Pacheco
      Luna Diana Pacheco 4 meses atrás +1

      Can’t be completely maximum brakes except in emergencies, that’d melt the wheels off completely, risk a fire, and would be very costly to repair

    • brunoais
      brunoais 4 meses atrás

      I double on that

  • keptick
    keptick 4 meses atrás +78

    The scale with the pillars is very reminiscent of the mines of Moria from lotr. Absolutely insane!

    • Aaron Davis
      Aaron Davis Mês atrás

      Must have been challenging to clear out all the orcs...and that other guy 😰

    • Jennifer lawrence
      Jennifer lawrence 3 meses atrás +3

      A lot of people believe this is the site of ancient Atlantis. My friend wanted to vacation there and they couldn't land because of the wind.

    • kindlin
      kindlin 4 meses atrás +3

      Oh, wow. So true! Love that.

  • enbyennui
    enbyennui 4 meses atrás +41

    The interviewee for this video was fantastic. He's absolutely right - these projects aren't made by one planner or one politician, they're the combined labour of thousands of dedicated people.

  • HezJP
    HezJP 4 meses atrás +104

    Landed with a stuck landing gear when I was a kid coming here on holiday with fire engines following us down the runway - this brought back some memories!

  • Jada van der Heijden
    Jada van der Heijden 4 meses atrás +5991

    I am literally right there right now, it is kinda surreal to see Tom talking about this runway we've been driving under so many times this week.

    • Marzo Varea
      Marzo Varea 4 meses atrás

      @Felipe de Jesús Hernández Guzmán Portuguese.

    • Felipe de Jesús Hernández Guzmán
      Felipe de Jesús Hernández Guzmán 4 meses atrás

      @Jada van der Heijden Do you know what language was the engineer speaking ?

    • Max Plsek
      Max Plsek 4 meses atrás

      @J B why would it be a lie?

    • _soym1lk
      _soym1lk 4 meses atrás

      @Ziggy Deer Its a joke bro

    • Ice age 17
      Ice age 17 4 meses atrás

      @Ziggy Deer it's amazing how you just assume they're not from there

  • Jon Reeves
    Jon Reeves 4 meses atrás +26

    "This is safe" -- Tom, while standing in the middle of a road with a car approaching from behind.

  • Daniel Martins
    Daniel Martins 4 meses atrás +24

    For the curious: the area under that infrastructure has been used as a sports park since 2007, called the «Água de Pena's Sports Park», which roughly translates to Feather's Water, named after a small water cliff that existed there centuries ago.

    • RFC3514
      RFC3514 4 meses atrás +12

      While "pena" is indeed the modern Portuguese word for "feather" or "quill" (sharing its root with the English word "pen"), in this case I'm willing to bet it comes from "penha" (an archaic word meaning "rock" or "cliff", still used in Spanish with the spelling "peña"). "Água de Pen(h)a" would mean something like "Cliffwater".

  • Johnathan Taylor
    Johnathan Taylor 4 meses atrás +33

    We often take architecture for granted but to actually think that humans designed and made things like this possible is just mind blowing.

  • Dan Cookson
    Dan Cookson 4 meses atrás +6

    I've had the pleasure of landing in Funchal. One of the highlights of my career so far. It's a really unique place and a very interesting approach. The only place I've been to where they tell you the wind direction and speed not just at the runway, but also at two other points along the approach, all of which have to be within prescribed parameters.

  • ShadowDrakken
    ShadowDrakken 4 meses atrás +38

    Another fun airport if you ever get the chance: Toncontin Airport in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Considered the most dangerous airport landing in the world. Landed there (as a passenger) several times while working out in the middle of Honduras. The approach is rather scary because the runway is in a bowl in the mountains, so the aircraft have to come in from the side, make an abrupt turn and drop several hundred feet all at once.

  • TheRandomMan
    TheRandomMan 4 meses atrás +11

    Very professional as always, great translation and a huge thank you from all portuguese people to Tom and his team for showing a part of the world that usually doesn't get much attention and sometimes is even confused with our Spanish neighbors.

  • callaa
    callaa 4 meses atrás +15

    I absolutely love flying into this airport in simulators! The wind makes it extremely challenging and fun.

  • Gummiel
    Gummiel 4 meses atrás +15

    So in a weird way, the fact it is so dangerous to land there, means as a passenger it might be one of the safest flights xD
    (Since you are sure to have some of the best of the best pilots flying the plane)

    • H B
      H B Mês atrás

      Nope. The extra training is trivial. I know of no airline that selects pilots for flights to Madeira, it is scheduled like all other destinations.

    • MastaKilla_2K21
      MastaKilla_2K21 Mês atrás


  • Pedro Mendes
    Pedro Mendes 4 meses atrás +39

    You mentioned that this is safe and that from the passenger POV it's no different than any other airport. I would say that it is in fact different in order to make it safe. The reason is that is very common for flights to divert because the pilot can't land safely. I've been there multiple times and have family there. This happens... a lot.

    • H B
      H B Mês atrás

      @Hélder Tomás And the reputation is out of date by at least fifty years.

    • Pedro Mendes
      Pedro Mendes 4 meses atrás

      @Hélder Tomás Temos experiências diferentes então

    • Filipe Saramago
      Filipe Saramago 4 meses atrás +2

      @Erkin Alp Güney because theyre doing it for safety, not for commercial reasons

    • CaitTheNerd
      CaitTheNerd 4 meses atrás

      @Erkin Alp Güney No diversions permitted would mean in the event of being unable to land at the destination, the pilots would have no option other than to just crash and kill everyone. Perhaps use your 3 functioning brain cells and think before you type?

    • tsm688
      tsm688 4 meses atrás +7

      @Erkin Alp Güney They're not diverting for fun. Forcing them to land in those conditions may actually be unsafe.

  • Cheezygui
    Cheezygui 4 meses atrás +7

    I saw the thumbnail and I instantly knew that was my Madeira, I’m glad it’s getting some recognition especially from someone so known like you. I remember my uncle telling me that people gathered to watch the demolition of buildings to build the bridge. Also when I was younger and lived there a fun fair was always set up under the bridge and I would go with my grandad

  • Alastair Hale
    Alastair Hale 4 meses atrás +20

    Another interesting runway I saw was in Gibraltar, where the runway is built out into the sea, and has the town's only access road running right across the middle of it! I'd love to see a video about how all that works

    • H B
      H B Mês atrás

      The runway at Gibraltar is very short and the approach is very difficult because of the Spanish government's refusal to allow aircraft into its airspace. You fly alongside the rock in gusty crosswinds with extra windshear, turn hard right, dive for the numbers on the runway and slam on the brakes. Not much fun.

    • Rui Gouveia
      Rui Gouveia 2 meses atrás

      @Lorenzo as if you would just access a live runway without any control whatsoever

    • Lorenzo
      Lorenzo 2 meses atrás

      yes, it's kind of fun when you are crossing the runway with your car, and you forget to check for airplanes coming...😄

    • Rui Gouveia
      Rui Gouveia 4 meses atrás +2

      Runway built into the sea is quite a common thing these days. But a highway running through the middle is definitely what makes Gibraltar special and different

    • Alastair Hale
      Alastair Hale 4 meses atrás +1

      @Space Elf Downlink I was there a few weeks ago and I didn't see that. But one of my friends did have a flight delay because of "seaweed on the runway"...

  • Vitor Narciso
    Vitor Narciso 4 meses atrás +3

    OMG! I am from Madeira and literally returned home today and landed in this airport! Such a joy to see yet another Tom Scott video about my homeland! Hope you had a blast here and keep those videos about Madeira coming, Tom!

  • Jenny Day
    Jenny Day 4 meses atrás +10

    In 1966 what was the second or third flight of my life ended with a landing on the then much shorter Funchal runway. The terror of that landing was such that now, a full 56 year later, I can still recall it, and perhaps slightly comically for a six year old who knew nothing of aeroplanes, worriedly asking my mother if the pilots knew what they were doing? That's a measure of how frightening the uber steep descent was... Maybe before I die I can try out the new extended strip. It should be a breeze by comparison.

    • Rui Gouveia
      Rui Gouveia 4 meses atrás

      It is indeed.
      The only this that makes it trickier nowadays is the wind, but in a normal day its a breezy soft calm landing

  • lauder
    lauder 4 meses atrás +5

    Having family there, I landed on this airport countless times and it's a joy ride every single time. Happy to see Tom make a video about it, since my grandfather was one of the people providing material for the airport

  • David F
    David F 4 meses atrás +3

    The shear amount of engineering needed just to extend this runway is breath-taking. And to think people suggested building raised runways over cities. Even ignoring the circular aspect of those proposed runways, the engineering involved would just have been absolutely insane.

  • orbitaljunkie
    orbitaljunkie 4 meses atrás +1

    Those shots under the structure are awe-inspiring. Such a great sense of scale really well represented here. Good job!

  • Sam Barker
    Sam Barker 4 meses atrás +1

    Very nice Tom, I never knew the sheer engineering that went into it. If you ever fancy having a go in the simulator you’ll have to let me know! 😄

  • Rob Bannstrom
    Rob Bannstrom 4 meses atrás

    Nice addition to your other video on Madeira! I remember landing at this airport in ~2005 or so, and the pilots had left their cabin door open, so people could see the runway through the cockpit windows as the plane approached and touched down. There was a tremendous round of applause from the passengers when the plane landed safely! 😀

  • Alasdair Deacon
    Alasdair Deacon 4 meses atrás +3

    I came into this airport on a particularly windy day, and it was a crosswind. The plane shook so much, the pilot had to take three attempts at the landing, aborting two at the last second.

  • Fix The Wi-Fi
    Fix The Wi-Fi 4 meses atrás +5

    Feel like it never really occured to me just how BIG aeroplane runways actually are, before seeing the scale in this video. Holy...

  • hjalfi
    hjalfi 4 meses atrás +8

    I've been to Madeira and landed here! It was... abrupt. Sharp turns, and rather enthusiastic braking maneouvre, but I survived. I can strongly recommend a visit, BTW; Madeira is fantastic, with ridiculously steep and varied terrain, excellent food, and lovely people. There's a walk along the spine of the island where you're essentially on a path a metre wide with nothing on each side of you but a few kilometres of air...

  • Octávio Sá
    Octávio Sá 4 meses atrás +3

    As a Madeiran abroad I absolutely love the fact that even on Holidays you find a way to find something interesting to show us.

  • Shreyas2
    Shreyas2 4 meses atrás

    I've flown here quite a few times in a flight simulator, and i can confirm that this is truly one of the most dangerous airports to land at. The strong winds can cause some planes to topple

  • Jackie L
    Jackie L 4 meses atrás +1

    This was an amazing video, thank you for highlighting the challenges and importance of this engineering structure

  • alameachan
    alameachan 4 meses atrás +9

    Your videos always give me hope that, if we put our minds to it and work together as one species, we can achieve anything and everything. That's a fantastic message nowadays.

  • Core D.
    Core D. 4 meses atrás +1

    As a pilot I’m hoping to land there myself one day. I have done this approach a thousand times on simulator, and it would be a dream come true to do it in real life. I live there now and it is an amazing island, with a very special airport indeed ! Thank you for the video.

  • Mazupah
    Mazupah Mês atrás

    I remember landing on this airport years ago. It was very special experience for me, and I will remember it always. My window was towards the sea. Could not see anything but water, until the last moment. "ohh no it's water... water, still water. We are going to land on water? Oh there's the land". It's fun to think about, how much trust we put on these pilots.

  • lizunatik
    lizunatik 4 meses atrás +5

    Ah, aviation. One of my inexplicable interests. Thanks, Tom.

  • Jayce
    Jayce 4 meses atrás +4

    Hats off to the engineers and construction crew for this astounding piece. Wow.

  • Idiot Minds
    Idiot Minds 4 meses atrás +3

    I was here a couple of months ago and as the plane was about the touch the runway they pulled up heavly to go for a second aproch because they were going to fast. Never seen anything like it.

  • Giuseppe Pinto
    Giuseppe Pinto 4 meses atrás

    Thanks for this video, it's really interesting! Just one remark: you refer several times to landing aircraft, but airside infrastructures are actually designed for departing aircraft. The weight of a touching-down aircraft is so negligible that designers assumed it as zero. Counterintuitive, I know!

    • ᴛᴏᴍ sᴄᴏᴛᴛ
      ᴛᴏᴍ sᴄᴏᴛᴛ 4 meses atrás

      ✉𝑾𝒉𝔮ᴛᵗ𝑠𝑨𝑝𝑝 ✚𝟏𝟗𝟎𝟔𝟓𝟔𝟗𝟔𝟑𝟔𝟕✔
      ʀᴇɢᴀʀᴅɪɴɢ ʙᴛᴄ/ ᴇᴛʜ ɪɴᴠᴇsᴛᴍᴇɴᴛ ɪᴅᴇᴀs

  • Owen Fink
    Owen Fink 4 meses atrás +1

    As long as you keep finding and showcasing cool stuff like this, I will continue watching. This was great and I can't wait for more!

  • Erik The Viking
    Erik The Viking 4 meses atrás

    Nice story - the engineering behind that is simply incredible. Mad respect to that team. Very clever and creative solution to a problem.

  • James Shunt
    James Shunt 4 meses atrás

    My home's airport! I live 5 minutes from it. My father worked on 2 of the extension phases, it is indeed a gigantic endeavor. Such a masterpiece of engineering. Great video, thank you!

  • JEUXolim
    JEUXolim 15 dias atrás

    Having gone there numerous times in my life especially as a kid, thought nothing of it other than the clockwise loop approaching from the north brushing over Canical and then turning sharply right where the wing looks like it’s going to touch the ocean and then a bit of wobble before the landing but now I see the challenges of landing here.

  • xxx
    xxx 4 meses atrás

    Absolutely love the pride-while-still-being-factual vibe the engineer has! Really enjoyable person to listen to and learn from :)

  • YT lurker
    YT lurker 4 meses atrás +247

    As an avgeek I'm so glad you covered this! How interesting, a true marvel of modern engineering - I'm so glad a unique airport like this exists. Very cool to see it from a different angle. It's so fun to land here on a simulator, and it's the best for spotting.

  • newsgetsold
    newsgetsold 4 meses atrás

    Love how this explores the human side of the engineering achievement. Great to feature the engineer.

  • Ricardo Teixeira
    Ricardo Teixeira 4 meses atrás +8

    I remember the tradition for the passengers to applaud the pilots when the plane fully stopped. Landing a 737 back in 1994 before the extension project started wasn't an easy feat

  • FlyHighWithHan
    FlyHighWithHan 4 meses atrás

    I flew there two days ago as crew and it was certainly an experience. I knew the airport was challenging but I had no idea about the bridge! How amazing!

  • KRS_LP
    KRS_LP 4 meses atrás +2

    Yess! I've been there. It was such a thrill driving on the road underneath it. Kinda surreal, like it's ancient catacombs, but then it's actually an airport.

  • Tyberfen
    Tyberfen 4 meses atrás +1

    What a truely astonishing feat of engineering. The hope to one day work on such a project is what keeps me going in engineering school

  • Kirk Lazarus
    Kirk Lazarus Mês atrás

    It's actually kind of crazy. I flew from this runway in Microsoft Flight Simulator about a month ago, before ever watching this video or knowing about the runway extension. I just saw a neat looking island off the coast of Portugal and Africa, and decided to give it a go.

  • Luis Carlos Dos Santos Sousa

    I still remember what it was like before the runway extension, my family are from there and we'd use the airport often, coming in to land was like a rollercoaster, people who know still get apprehensive when coming in to land to this day.

  • Olivier
    Olivier 2 meses atrás

    I love how humble the engineer is and how he included the whole team in this project

  • John Van Riper
    John Van Riper 4 meses atrás

    This is really cool, thanks for sharing all these neat places with us Tom!

  • anniek
    anniek 4 meses atrás

    This was lovely. I really enjoyed hearing the engineer speak. What a class act!

  • Charmaine Eng
    Charmaine Eng 3 meses atrás

    absolutely astounding - I don't think I'll look at structures like these the same way again.

  • Scott Walz
    Scott Walz 4 meses atrás

    I dig the civil engineering videos like this, Tom! It would be awesome to see you do a collab with with Grady of Practical Engineering sometime 👍

  • Jules
    Jules 4 meses atrás +2

    I like the respect you give your interviewees by showing them with their input in their own language.

  • Mike McBey
    Mike McBey 4 meses atrás +1

    There are some good videos on BRclip, taken from airliners' cockpits, which show the tricky manoevers the pilots have to take. Also videos of planes being rocked by the winds and sometimes having to abort their landings.

  • MrGreatplum
    MrGreatplum 4 meses atrás +2

    Wow, I’d heard of that airport’s difficult approach but I wasn’t aware of the extension on stilts

  • MrWylis
    MrWylis 4 meses atrás +1

    Really makes me wish I was in a job where I could see a product at the end of the day.
    I work in Safety, so a good day is one where nothing bad happens!
    Love me some engineering, though.

  • PS3GamingScotland
    PS3GamingScotland 4 meses atrás

    I always look forward to a Monday for a really educational video. You have a real knack of turning a boring subject into one that's so interesting. Great video as always Tom. :)

  • Paul Faulkner
    Paul Faulkner 4 meses atrás +3

    Tom, you always have bloody good content. Short, punchy & very interesting. Well done again on a decent film! And thankyou too.

  • Lisbon Airport Spotting
    Lisbon Airport Spotting 4 meses atrás

    Great Video Tom! I had the opportunity to follow this engineering work since I was a child, my father was one of the engineers of the extension of the track. That's when my passion for airplanes grew!

  • Michael Allen
    Michael Allen 4 meses atrás

    This makes me think of the interstate that goes underneath the Atlanta International Airport. It'd be cool to see Tom do a video on that!

  • Chris Waldrip
    Chris Waldrip 4 meses atrás

    Amazing for the location and the time it was built. Something smaller but similar was built at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson airport when they expanded. They had nowhere to go as they were pinned in, and moving the highway was out of the question. So they built over it. And not nearly as long.

  • Olympus
    Olympus 4 meses atrás +1

    It was visiting structures like these that inspired me to start studying civil engineering

  • Alloria
    Alloria 4 meses atrás +2

    I remember landing there back in the 90s, and it was quite an experience! The plane had to throttle back in mid air, and it shuddered like crazy as it was landing. This was just as the extension was being constructed. I don't think I will ever forget landing at Madeira.

    • H B
      H B Mês atrás

      Where else would a plane throttle back but in the air ? The engines are reduced to ground idle as soon as it lands.

  • EelooYT
    EelooYT 4 meses atrás

    It's an amazing project and I'm so surprised as an engineering/urban planning nerd I've only heard about this because of this video, this needs to be talked about more.

  • Geoffrey Engelbrecht
    Geoffrey Engelbrecht 4 meses atrás +1

    From the video title I was expecting a video about Courchevel or an airport even harder to land at than that. I’m sure Madeira is challenging to land at but I would question if it is the toughest airport in Europe. Nevertheless interesting video.

  • Albin Blomdahl
    Albin Blomdahl 4 meses atrás

    It's really good that you give attention to the people who made these fantastic structures that we take for granted, I admire your work Tom😃👌

  • antonio josé Ferreira
    antonio josé Ferreira 4 meses atrás

    O aeroporto do Funchal, na ilha da Madeira, era demasiado curto para os modernos aviões comerciais: mas não havia para onde ir. A solução é um dos maiores projetos de engenharia civil do nosso tempo.

  • Stephen Price
    Stephen Price 4 meses atrás +3

    Went there on a belated honeymoon in November 2021. Got a good look at the airport before the pilot did the big final U-turn. I said to myself "We going to land on THAT?!". Whole plane clapped when we came to a stop and began taxiing to the terminal.
    Madeira was fantastic, by the way!

  • Opus 313
    Opus 313 4 meses atrás +112

    Once again Tom provides information I didn't know that I wanted to know!

  • Marta K.
    Marta K. 4 meses atrás

    Kudos to engineers and builders...! 👏👏👏 I never thought about it, but some constructions seem like a big "miracle" to me

  • Mia -T{αα}P Me!! To F.C.K W!th Me

    I went there in the 80's before the extension. The landing was of the faster, harder (Scooter) type for sure, and the plane had to have very little fuel in it on the return trip to Sweden to be able to take off so we had to make a brief stop-over in Portugal on the way home to re-fuel. :)

  • Dr. Logii
    Dr. Logii 4 meses atrás +1

    I was twice there already, and If the plain lands, for most of the time you just see water. Only a few moments before the actual landing you will see some land.
    Oh, and also, there is a 2 lane highway passing under the runway

  • Kimberley
    Kimberley 4 meses atrás +1

    That is some engineering. Landing in Ísafjörður in northern Iceland can be quite scary but a lot of fun too.

  • Callie Masters
    Callie Masters 4 meses atrás +6

    Have you done an update on Gibraltar airport? It's difficult to land and they were building a tunnel under it last time I heard. Also, St. Helena airport is quite a story in itself.

    • H B
      H B Mês atrás

      St Helena airport is a classic case of stupid politicians spoiling the ship for a ha'porth of tar. Two different lead contractors walked away from the project because a sensible well thought out design was butchered to a point where the airport is nearly unusable, with no possibility of any remedial work for at least twenty years.

  • Tsuna
    Tsuna 4 meses atrás

    I like that it also gets usage as cover for all the boats and other structures beneath it. Helps justify the budget for a massive project like this

  • Rac3r4Life
    Rac3r4Life 4 meses atrás +2

    That's awesome. I had no clue this existed. For some reason there is some memory in the back of my mind of a runway with a highway running underneath it, but I don't remember where it is. I also seem to remember one that has a highway that goes directly across it and nothing but traffic signals stopping people from crossing while it's in use.

    • Buhs
      Buhs 4 meses atrás +2

      The one with a road crossing the runway is Gibraltar Airport

  • Francisco Maio Rodrigues
    Francisco Maio Rodrigues 4 meses atrás +1

    Love to see you in Portugal. I've walays been told by my grandfather that only TAP pilots were good enthough to land on the original runway. They were able to do it bc they were ex airfore pilots and had experience on routh landings

    • H B
      H B Mês atrás

      Urban myth. Count the number of airlines that have operated into Madeira in the last sixty years.

  • Zenu
    Zenu 4 meses atrás

    Incredible video aside, the color grading at the start LOOKS SO GOOD. I was kinda blown away by how "well defined" and consistent the colors feel. Like, you got reds, greens and blues and they all look "true to life" in a way?

  • slitor
    slitor 4 meses atrás +1

    Its so spacious underneath, and so well lit! I feel like its almost under utilized!

  • Fábio Cunha
    Fábio Cunha 4 meses atrás +1

    I'm from Portugal, have seen many photos of that runway and never noticed it's built like a bridge... Thanks, Tom

  • bigglesvideo
    bigglesvideo 4 meses atrás

    I used to operate in and out of Funchal in the 80s with a well known now defunct airline! It was an extremely challenging approach and landing, winds from all directions and a very short piece of tarmac to end up on! We couldn’t uplift enough fuel to get back to LGW due to the shortness of the runway, so we picked up fuel on the way home either from Porto Santo or from mainland Portugal. It made for a long day of duty. Seeing this video makes me wish that they had done this a little earlier and increased our safety margins! It would’ve also helped us to get back home without the need to re fuel en route! Great video!🙂