Saturday, October 2, 2010

Madeira Airport - 70 meters tall

Now this is what we call an expensive runway! In Portugal, A special airport has been made — the airport’s runway with a length of 2781 meters (9124 ft.), of which 1000 meters (3281 ft.) of the runway is supported by 180 pillars, each pillar 50 meters height (about 17 floors) , surprisingly, the runway is designed for B-747.
Madeira is an archipelago with volcanic origins from a Hot Spot and a city near Funchal, Portugal that has long been recognized for its airport. Originally, the airport runway was something of a spectacle for its outrageously short length. Being that it was surrounded by the ocean on one side and mountains on the other, even the most skilled pilots had a hard time pulling planes in to land. Madeira is definitely a great spots for tourist destinations.

This new runway extension was built over the ocean. Instead of using landfill to construct the extension, the runway sits on 180 columns that are 70 meters tall. After it was completed, the Madeira Runway extension won the Outstanding Structures Award by the International Association of Bridge and Structural Engineering. This is considered the “Oscar” for engineering structure in Portugal. The new runway is widely celebrated as a great feat in architecture due to its sheer size and the amount of labor it took to erect it.
The total construction costs for the extension amounted to more than 500 million Euros, a small price to pay considering pilots and passengers can now land without fear. The new airport runway can accommodate all kinds of commercial and private aircraft and more than three million passengers per year.

Local pilots are often still said to be the most proficient at landing and taking off at Madeira Airport being that there is still ocean on either end. Nevertheless, no matter who is flying the plane, the new runway at Madeira is an architectural wonder both in appearance and in function.