Wind limit spat continues. Drone footage of sinking.

Airport wind limit debate continues

Miguel Albuquerque reacts to wind limits issueThe Diario reports that the President of the Regional Government has reacted strongly to the statements of Antonoaldo Neves, TAP’s chief executive, reported here yesterday, which stated that the national carrier would not accept a more relaxed wind limit at Madeira airport. Miguel Albuquerque has replied that the Government of Madeira had never questioned the safety of the operations or passengers. “What we said was that it was important that given the expansion of the airport and the evolution of the technical means of both aircraft and approach systems that ANAC (the National Institute of Civil Aviation of Portugal) reviewed the wind limit at the airport. This is a technical study ……. so it is not for the president of TAP to say whether or not he flies to Madeira”.

The President of the Regional Government also took the opportunity to claim that the charges that TAP applies for flights to Madeira “are scandalous prices, sky-high, exuberant and unreasonable”. Albuquerque pointed out that TAP is charging over €600 for a distance of just over 900km (Lisbon/Madeira), comparing that to the cost of  to a trip between Portugal and Luxembourg at €58 . He also considered it “unacceptable” for a flight from Porto to the Madeira to cost “between €500 and €700 – as in the high periods – when they could go to Cape Verde for half that price”. (Cape Verde is 2800km).

Albuquerque stressed that the wind limit is a matter of “a technical study”, arguing that it is important for the national government to make this study, because the region “is being harmed for reasons that are not justified”. On the position of the TAP President who assrted in his interview that “even if the wind limits change, TAP will not change the safety parameters that govern their trips to Madeira”, he replied that the position of the carrier is “unsustainable and that the fault is of the Central Government that treats the citizens of Madeira like second (class)”. He added that “it is not for the president of TAP to say whether or not he flies to Madeira, not taking into account …. these technical studies”. “The Government should have made the necessary intervention” in this matter, noting that TAP, since January of this year, has cancelled 70 flights to the island.

National Civil Aviation Authority position

National Civil Aviation Authority comment on wind limitThe President of the National Civil Aviation Authority, Luis Silva Ribeiro, has told press agency Lusa that ANAC believes that revising the wind limit at Madeira Airport should never meet political criteria, but only scientific criteria for the safety of passengers and aircraft crews. “The solution will be completely scientific and not political, and nor can it be, it is clearly out of the question”.

Association of Portuguese Airline Pilots position

The President of the Association of Portuguese Airline Pilots (APPLA) also considers that any changes to the wind limit speed to operate at Madeira Airport are “technical and scientific”, and the resolution of the Legislative Assembly “political conditioning”. “I understand what the Regional Government of Madeira is doing. Now, I think this is a technical and scientific issue and must be resolved as such”, said Miguel Silveira also talking to press agency Lusa yesterday, commenting on the resolution passed by the Madeira Legislative Assembly in July on the wind limits at Madeira Airport.

Drone footage of sinking

Drone footage of the sinking of the Corvette Afonso Cerqueira last week off Cabo Girão has appeared on YouTube:

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