Tom Scott

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

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
Assistant Producer: Elsa Gouveia
Camera: Elton Cantoni
Editor: Dave Stevenson

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: – license details at

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