What have been the experiences of pilots and passengers using Madeira’s scary runway near Funchal? From the adjacent highway, it looks like an elevated expressway jutting out into the ocean and built on 60+/- metre tall pillars. Walking out to the aircraft from the terminal gives the impression that it is much too short for passenger planes. Take-off from the extreme end overlooking the water continues over the east edge without any noticeable lift, just looking down and seeing tarmac disappearing and ocean waves below. We were fortunate that we missed the famous winds and downdrafts on both our landing and take-off.
It is considered to be one of the scariest airports in the world. A tricky and dangerous moment, when you need to get over a mountain massif before landing and then get to the narrowest runway I’ve seen (at least it looks so).