Resource management

Responsible handling of waste, water and de-icing

Munich Airport's strategy for using natural resources is based on taking care of and being economical with these, and also showing a sense of responsibility toward future generations. The issues of waste and water management and the preparation of de-icers are particularly important.

 Drinking water at Munich Airport

Munich Airport is supplied with drinking water by Zweckverband Moosrain, a community water cooperative. The water is taken from the supply lines of the cooperative at four locations and fed into the airport's own supply network. Drinking water is one of the most carefully monitored substances for human consumption. The quality of the drinking water is checked regularly at various locations in the supply network.

Economical handling of drinking water

Drinking water is a valuable resource that is essential to life. We must therefore secure its continued availability and use it sparingly. When it comes to resource conservation, FMG believes in the importance of handling drinking water on the airport campus as carefully and economically as possible. Where drinking water quality is not needed, we can also use groundwater closer to the surface. We have already stopped using drinking water for cooling buildings, workshops and terminals and for watering the green spaces.

Additional savings methods

Water-saving fittings are used in terminals to reduce drinking water consumption. The water used in carwashes is reused several times after treatment. Operation of the fire training facility predominantly uses rainwater that has been collected from paved areas at the training facility and then stored for extinguishing fires. Above all, quarternary groundwater near the surface from own wells is increasingly used to clean roads and air operations surfaces, to dampen building site equipment and for air conditioning in buildings, instead of using tertiary groundwater from deeper groundwater levels.

Use of service water for air conditioning

In the past, high-quality drinking water from Moosrain water utility company was used to cool the power station. Since 2010, instead of valuable drinking water, groundwater close to the surface is now used for cooling purposes.

Wastewater disposal

Wastewater disposal concept: various wastewater sources, their treatment, and disposal

Rain water management

The precipitation runoff from buildings, roads, flight operation areas and other developed surfaces that collects over large areas or in drainage channels is permitted to soak into the ground onsite, preferably using soakage facilities near the surface such as pits or trenches. The precipitation water is filtered and purified through the soaking process, ensuring protection of groundwater.  

Water protection in the runway area (soil filtration systems)

During aircraft deicing operations, wind can blow some of the deicing fluids onto the grassy areas adjacent to the paved flight operation surfaces. Ground filters around the runway heads prevent it from entering the ground water. At present, the filters around the north-east and north-west runway heads are complete. Further construction work is planned.

A ground filter consists of sealed underground storage chambers filled with gravel. It cleans the precipitation water that may be contaminated with spilled aircraft deicing products and also serves as a reservoir.

Soil filter system

Soil filter systems under construction at head of runway 26L

Recycling of deicing agents

Munich Airport remains the only airport in the world that recycles and reuses its deicing fluids onsite. The quantity of deicing agents used ranges from 2,000 tons in a mild winter to 8,000 tons when conditions are especially harsh.

With the recycling process, the airport has been able to reduce the quota of new deicing products consumed to well below 50 percent. The actual quota varies according to the severity of the winter. On occasion, the recycling quota is far above 50 percent. The recycling operations also reduce the waste water resulting from aircraft deicing. The recycled portion no longer has to be purified in the Eitting treatment plant of the "Erdinger Moos" municipal wastewater management cooperative. Instead it can be reused as new deicing fluid.

Flood control

The streams and trenches along the Airport perimeter fence guidefloodwater from stretches of water to the south around the Airport andfeeds it back to existing stretches of water in the north, ensuring that the naturally existing discharge is unchanged. The Airport's own drainage system is designed to retain and treat precipitation runoff in the sewer and tanks before feeding it into inshore waters.

These measures guarantee that neither backwater nor increased discharge peaks during flooding affect land to the south and north of the Airport and that the Airport itself is also protected from floodwater.

  • The flood control measures in the design and operation of the facilities proved their worth when the waters rose in 2013. Over the years, ecologically flexible and therefore easy-to-maintain biotopes have emerged. They are an indispensable component of the ecosystem for many animal and plant species, some of which are under threat.
  • For example, a winding ditch has formed with shallows and deep pools, fast-flowing areas and quiet shoals, complemented with high-lying sandbars and gravel beds with low-nutrient grasses along the banks.

Aircraft fuel supply

At Munich Airport, aircraft are supplied with fuel with an underground refuelling system.

The fuel is pumped through underground pipes directly from nearby storage tanks to the park positions on the apron, where the aircraft are serviced with tankless refuelling vehicles known as hydrant dispensers.

This eliminates the need for taking tank trucks to the aircraft, which considerably reduces the risk of accidents on the apron. It also reduces emissions because pipes link the fuel storage tanks to the aircraft.

Key facts on the fuel storage facility and underground refuelling system at Munich Airport:

  • Four 4,500 m³ storage tanks
  • One 12,000 m³ storage tank
  • One 14,800 m³ storage tank
  • Total storage: approx. 45,000 m³
  • Delivery routes: By rail with tank wagons and via pipeline system from the Feldkirchen storage facility
  • Hydrant system with 20 km network and approximately 500 fuel pits
  • Current facility operator: Skytanking, under contract with Flughafen München GmbH

In case of emergency

Waste: high recycling rates

  • Flughafen München GmbH meets every single requirement in the five-stage target hierarchy under the German Waste Management and Product Recycling Act. Any waste and scrap products from the operation of the airport – across the board – are collected where they are generated within various separating systems, handed over to certified specialist businesses close to the airport, prepared in sorting plants, and then recycled.
  • A custom-designed disposal concept is essential for sustainable resource conservation.

Paper consumption

Munich Airport constantly reduces its paper consumption