The first connection to Madeira by plane took place in 1921, by a crew that included the famous aviators Gago Coutinho and Sacadura Cabral. It was a main rehearsal for the first air travel of the South Atlantic, which connected Lisbon to Brazil a year later. Since then, the dream of an aerial connection between the archipelago of Madeira and continental territory was achieved. In the mid twentieth century, hydroplanes coming from Lisbon landed on the port of Funchal. A serious accident in one of these trips interrupted these flight connections, which were then resumed with the construction of an aerodrome on the island of Porto Santo, in 1960. The passengers arrived at the island and then used a boat to proceed to Madeira. Currently, the airport of Madeira is known throughout the world for its bold work of engineering: the expansion of its runaway into the sea, challenging the hostile orography of the island. More than an islander whim, the flight connections of the Madeira archipelago have allowed the creation of relevant local infrastructures, bringing it closer to the rest of the world. They are now essential for the tourism sector and a way of connecting the Madeirans to other cultures and knowledge.
Keywords: airports; transport; aircraft; communications; engineering; infrastructures.