Weather to improve
Whilst it remains fairly overcast in Funchal first thing Saturday morning, the weather forecast shows a significant improvement on the unusually miserable weather this last week. The bad news is that longer range forecasts, notoriously unreliable, show the rain returning next weekend.
Fire-fighting helicopters tested amid controversy
The Diario on Thursday reported that the Regional Government in Madeira was not aware of the arrival of two fire-fighting helicopters sent by by the central government. The president of the Regional Government of Madeira, Miguel Albuquerque, considered it “strange” that the Government of the Republic sent two helicopters to simulate fighting forest fires without informing the Regional Executive. The Secretary of State for Internal Affairs, however, assured the Regional Government that there was no “lack of institutional respect” regarding the arrival of two helicopters. The misunderstanding instead apparently came from a communications failure on the part of the company hired to conduct the tests – the helicopters had arrived early “for logistical reasons” for the the tests, which start on April 30th, culminating on May 2nd between 10.00 – 12.00, when the helicopters will be joined by a medium-sized plane.
The tests come as a result of a decision taken in August by the Regional Government, which asked the prime minister for help in preparing an evaluation of the feasibility of using air assets in Madeira – the final result will be submitted to the prime minister’s office and it will be his office who will announce the outcome of the investigations. Since the latest fires in August last year, there has been much discussion as to the suitability of aerial fire-fighting methods. Experts – both with aerial fire-fighting experience and pilots with flight experience in Madeira – agree the the tests are necessary and will contribute significantly to decisions on future fire-fighting methods on the island. Hopefully this summer will pass without any serious outbreaks, as inevitably nothing will be implemented quickly.
The viewpoint at Cabo Girão now costs €1.50 per person to access via turnstiles, except on Sundays.
Exposição Regional do Limão
The XVI edition of the Regional Exhibition of Lemon opens today (Saturday), at 5 pm, Casa do Povo in Ilha, Santana. Later, at 8:30 p.m., and as a celebration of World Dance Day, a dance competition will take place that will bring together amateur dance groups from all over the region.
The awards ceremony for farmers will take place, attended by the president of the Regional Government, takes place on Sunday 30th at 2:00, followed by the Festa do Despique will be held, with accordionists from Ponta de Sol and the group Amigos da Gaita.
Jet2 from Belfast
Jet2 have announced they will be flying from Belfast International to Madeira next summer. It is among eight new routes from Belfast announced last week, with 50 jobs being created and a fourth plane – a Boeing 737 800 – operating out of the airport..