Airport closed again

Wind limit increase is not a solution

Airport closed again 1

Only three planes managed to land this afternoon at Madeira Airport due to the strong wind on the island which resulted in the cancellation of around 40 connections by late afternoon, according to ANA.

On the official website of ANA-Aeroportos de Portugal, between 4:45 pm and 6:46 pm, three TuiFly flights landed from Hannover (4:45 pm), Munich (5:01 pm) and Dusseldorf (18:00 pm). :46).

Having witnessed all of these first-hand this afternoon from an elevated position slightly above but very close to the airport, I have to admit that I am now definitely not in favour of the President arbitrarily increasing the wind speed limit for political reasons. The first Tui flight, from about two kilometres out on its final approach, was obviously struggling to keep its “balance” and was clearly never going to land safely, despite trying, and had no alternative but to pull out as it neared the runway.

I would not have liked to have been on that plane, and having performed a go-around the second (successful) landing looked highly precarious. A higher wind limit would presumably encourage airlines and pilots to go beyond this point, which is moving into very dangerous territory on todays evidence.

The three aircraft then managed to take off (much easier than landing!) for the same German cities between 18:00 and 19:49. ANA also indicates that more than 20 landings by different companies operating to Madeira, coming from different destinations, and the corresponding scheduled takeoffs, have been cancelled.Two Ryanair flights, one British Airways and one TuiFly diverted to other airports.

Once again the weather situation is affecting thousands of passengers, but the last thing we need is to cut corners.

The Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere (IPMA) today issued a statement warning of “an episode of hot and dry weather in the archipelago” of Madeira, adding that maximum temperatures are expected that can reach 35 degrees Celsius on the south coast.

Warm weather warning brings wind

“Warm weather warnings will be in effect from Sunday the 25th, with a maximum Orange level on the 26th and 27th [Monday and Tuesday], and the episode is expected to persist at least until Thursday the 29th”, reads in the IPMA communiqué.

Also according to IPMA, this “period will also be marked by an intensification of the wind, especially in high areas” and by very low relative humidity values ​​that may increase the risk of fire.

“Additionally, in the same period there may be the transport of dust in suspension to the Madeira archipelago due to the persistent flow from the east”, is added in the press release. This could obviously add to the problems at the airport.

9 thoughts on “Airport closed again”

  1. “A higher wind limit would presumably encourage airlines and pilots to go beyond this point, which is moving into very dangerous territory on todays evidence.”

    A higher wind limit would put the pilot in the exact same position of the other thousands of airports around the world. If the landing is unsafe it will go around regardless of the limits.

    Check on youtube windy landings in Manchester and have fun. There are no wind limits in Manchester so why do pilots go around? Shouldn’t they feel encouraged by the fact.there are no limits?

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    • I have looked at both Manchester and Birmingham airport landings, I’ve had five aborted landings, four in Madeira, one in South Africa and my most scary landing by far was Birmingham. I think the difference is that Madeira because of the proximity of the mountains affect the gusting speed and the direction. Steady winds despite the speed are exactly that. It’s the gusts that are only combatted successfully by the the pilots reactions and skill. These limits have not been laid down by politicians or aircraft operators looking for cost savings but by aviation experts. How many Rather than listen to the politicians and commentators here, I include myself, I would like to hear from a poll of pilots. It is not uncommon to have hairy landings in Madeira. Without the wind speed limits you would have even more hairy landings until?

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  2. The solution is to give more training to the foreign pilots in Madeira . When I was still living in UK 2016 I did go see my mother in Madeira and did take me 4 days to arrive there the Jet 2 didn’t manage to land because of the strong winds and end up in Tenerife in excellent hotel after that did try again without no result and end up in Algarve in Vale de Lobo in another excellent hotel . And only in the 4 days when going into Algarve airport some of the staff that knew about the situation said if it was a Portuguese pilot the plane did land a long time ago . And when this Jet 2 tried to land in Madeira the first first attempt almost ended up in the sea and only after the 2 attempts managed to land with half the passengers that decided to stay in other places .Also when the track was built they never understood why they didn’t built a bigger and longer runway .

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    • I know you are very patriotic , Isabel but I don’t think nationality has a lot to do with landing safely in Madeira. I am told all pilots flying this route have extra training. As to your Easyjet landing, we don’t know the exact circumstances when the TAP aircraft landed. Gusting, as I’ve experienced, literally takes seconds. That’s the problem.

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  3. A good question, Richard but even if one was to appear I can’t see how it would help solve the problems caused by the weather conditions at the Airport.

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