In recent years, with the increase in air movement to and from Madeira, the constraints have also become more significant whenever the wind ‘exceeds’ the operational limits.
The operational problems caused by the wind limits imposed at the Madeira International Airport, of 15 knots for the average wind, and 25 knots for the gust, as a mandatory rule, were once again the subject of discussion in the Legislative Assembly of Madeira .
Carlos Rodrigues, deputy of the PSD, anticipating the hearing of the NAV administration that took place this Thursday, recalled, at the beginning of the week, that the solution to the problem “is in the same situation as a year and three months ago”, when it was said that equipment was needed, to carry out studies that would allow reviewing the limits.
Equipment that would also allow for better operability, but which have not yet been purchased. “The tender was launched and we know nothing more”, he said at the time.
In this intervention made in the hemicycle, Carlos Rodrigues reiterated that the problem of the airport in Santa Cruz results from the fact that the wind limits were defined in 1964, with a DC3 plane, from World War II, without the current technology. In addition, he reaffirmed that Madeira is “unique case in the world” in having mandatory wind limits and not indications / recommendations leaving the decision to the pilot in command, as happens in other airports on a global scale.
The Social Democrat deputy also recalled that the wind limits were defined for an airport with a runway of 1,600 meters, when today it has 2,781 meters and compared the Madeiran runway with others, such as Gibraltar (2,000 meters), Ponta Delgada (2,600) or Horta (1,600).
But is it true that Madeira Airport has this unique feature as the only case in the world where from a certain intensity/wind speed it is not allowed to operate, namely to land?
DIÁRIO put the question to Pilot Commander João Moutinho, who is also president of the Association of Portuguese Airline Pilots (APPLA), an association that represents more than 1,500 Portuguese pilots from various Portuguese and foreign airlines.
“We cannot be absolutely peremptory about this. It may be the case that somewhere in the world there is another airport that has an imposed wind limitation. However, it is not our (APPLA) knowledge that there is another airport with the same type of wind limitation as exists in Madeira”, he replied, not only on his own behalf, but also on behalf of the Association of Pilots he represents.