Development of the transport network
In the first half of the twentieth century attention focused on air transport.
The opening to the world, via this route starts with the seaplanes, which began operating on 15th May 1949, with equipment of “Aquila Airways”. Subsequently, it is followed by Artop until 1958. During this period, 32,838 passengers disembarked on the island.
In 1960, the airport on the island of Porto Santo opens and the Madeira Archipelago now has a regular air service between the two islands for the first time. Previously, the connection between the two islands was done by by boat, with the “Lisbonense” and “Cedros” Ferryboats.
In 1964, Madeira tourism gains greater projection, with the construction of the Santa Catarina Airport, with a 1,600-meters long runway. The new infrastructure allows aircrafts to operate on the island, benefiting from domestic, international and charter flights, managed to transport, at the time, large numbers of tourists. In 2000, the airport’s runway was expanded to 2781 meters. It is partially built on slab over the sea, and supported by 180 pillars.
It is also in the first half of this century that the Port of Funchal was expanded, widening the pier in all its length and extension.
At this time the construction of roads and Expressways that shortened the distances between municipalities.