Known as the Santa Catarina airport for many years, the Madeira Airport (official name) is today a modern and welcoming space, equipped with the essential services for any traveler.
At one time, Madeira Airport was known for its short runway. However a complex renovation extended the runway out over the sea to a length of 2,781 meters long. The renovation won the "Secil Award" in 2001, one year after its inauguration, an award of great distinction at the national level.
In 2004, the expansion of the runway at Madeira Airport won another award, the World Award for Structural Engineering and was selected by the Order of Engineers as one of the "100 Works of Civil Engineering of the twentieth century."
The renovation of the Airport didn’t stop at the runway, it included all systems and support infrastructure, new access and parking, placing Madeira Airport among Europe's best.
1921 The first crossing from Lisbon to Funchal takes place. On 22 March, an F3 seaplane with Rolls Royce engines and number 4018 S606 arrived in Madeira. On board were the aviation pioneers Sacadura Cabral, Gago Coutinho, Ortins Bettencourt and Roger Soubiran.
1957 A small plane from the General Directorate of Civil Aviation landed on the island. It was the first aircraft to touch Madeiran land on an experimental runway at Santa Catarina.
1964 Operations began at the Funchal Airport, at that time with only 1,600 meters of runway.