Funchal Madeira FNC/LPMA

Funchal Madeira

VOR 05 & 23
Terrain, turbulence & windshear

Madeira airport has a single runway 05/23. Terrain rises rapidly inland to the West and Northwest of the airfield to over 6000 ft within 9 NM.

Although FNC has area radar, all approaches are procedural and short delays due to other traffic are common.


The video starts from the 6 DME point on radial 212 after executing the standard VOR/DME approach for RWY 05.

RWY 05

RWY 05 with text commentary


The principle hazard at Madeira is wind, giving rise to

• Crosswinds
• Turbulence
• Up and down draughts
• Windshear

Wind velocity is measured at RWY 05 threshold, RWY 23 threshold, mid-point (measured at the ATC tower) and Rosario (1.1nm prior to the RWY 05 threshold at the runway end of the 05 lead-in light system). The wind may be significantly different at each of these locations.

Wind limitations displayed on various charts are mandatory. Approach wind limitations vary depending upon the runway in use. Infringements of these limitations are reported to the Portuguese CAA.


Approach to either runway starts at the ABUSU holding pattern for cloud break to circling minima.

Runway 05

FNC RWY 05 Visual Approach PDF

The turn commencing at FUN D6.0 towards GELO (large white shed) should be started at a shallow bank angle, progressively increasing bank angle in order to head north to GELO and avoiding large turns close to the terrain. Follow the curved lighting system to line up with the runway.
Do not fly north of the light system

The PAPIs have been offset to the right of the centreline to aid glideslope tracking. The right-hand PAPI is not visible on short finals due to this offset.

Differences in wind speed of more than 5 kt between Rosario and Tower reported values may indicate turbulence on finals.


The overall runway slope is about 0.7%, however the northeasterly section, between RWY 23 threshold and taxiway B, is approximately flat, and from taxiway B to the RWY 05 threshold the runway slopes downwards at about 1%.


  1. #1 by Tailstrike737 on 06/09/2011 - 10:14

    ATC are aiming for 7 minutes separation between aircraft at ABUSU before commencing the approach for RWY 05. Even though they do a good job it might be worth contacting the aircraft in front or behind you to confirm your ETA at ABUSU and adjust your speed accordingly.

  1. Porto Santo from 37,000′

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