Resource management

Target adjustment in waste management

Waste and scrap products are generated from the operation of the airport – across the board – and these are then collected where they occur in various separating systems, handed over to certified specialist businesses close to the airport, prepared in sorting plants, and then recycled. The situation on the disposal and recycling market did not improve this reporting year, as there was a mismatch between oversupply of mixed recyclables and a shortage of capacity among recyclers. The coronavirus pandemic also set in motion a number of drastic events that are posing new and different challenges to the waste management sector in terms of performance and adaptability. Through dialog with customers and employees and consideration of legal requirements, waste management practices will be realigned toward new goals with this in mind.

Target for 2022
Development of a concept for reducing the use of disposable plastics

«Environmental statement»

Responsible water management

The aim of water management at Munich Airport is to affect the natural water balance as little as possible and arrange the various effects caused by water resource management, drainage, and the provision of drinking and extinguishing water so that they have as little impact as possible.

Wastewater disposal concept

Wastewater disposal concept Subdivision into rainwater, wastewater and de-icing water (organizational chart)

Process water instead of drinking water

Munich Airport is increasingly using process water in cases where drinking water quality is not required: for concrete work and building site supplies, for cleaning runways using high-pressure equipment, for use in wet sweeping machines, for sewer rinsing, and for watering green areas, bushes, and trees. In addition, quaternary groundwater close to the surface (process water) from our own wells has been used for many years now to supply the west and east power centers instead of precious tertiary groundwater (drinking water). Water is needed there for evaporative cooling towers that are used to draw away condensation heat from cooling generators and to cool the combustion engine and steam boiler systems. This led to a saving on drinking water of around 200,000 cubic meters in 2020, with total savings now amounting to some 2,200,000 cubic meters since the practice of using process water began in 2010. Planning and preparatory building work have started on additional process water wells in a bid to save up to a further 50,000 cubic meters of drinking water a year; one well is due to go into operation in 2021.

Drinking water consumption at Munich Airport hovered consistently at around one million cubic meters in recent years despite growth in passenger numbers. In 2020, the airport sourced a total of 563,789 cubic meters of drinking water from the Moosrain water utility company. That is approximately 45 percent less than in the previous year, a change due to the coronavirus pandemic

Process water instead of drinking water for air conditioning purposes

Target for 2025
Increased use of service water through the construction of service water wells

Facts and Figures

Efficiency gains: special camera used to inspect sewers

Munich Airport will rely on a range of technologies, including innovative technologies, for its regular inspections of large underground groundwater pipes in the future. Use of special high-resolution cameras is intended to make the time-consuming, labor-intensive process of manually inspecting canals more efficient where possible in technical terms.

Aircraft de-icer cycle

De-icing vehicles keep aircraft free from ice and snow before take-off. The de-icer dripping off the aircraft during this process finds its way via slit drainage gutters and channels into underground basins. It is then mechanically and chemically treated in the airport’s own recycling plant, its water content reduced, and then converted back to its original state with the use of additives. The recycling rate for the active glycol component in de-icer, used for reconstituting type 1 de-icer, was around 50.2 percent for the 2019/2020 winter season. The recycling rate has ranged between 41 and a maximum of 59 percent since the 2000/2001 winter season, depending on the weather and taking into account a level of energy consumption suited to the environmental footprint.

Aircraft de-icer cycle

Electric «elephant» (photo)
An electric «elephant» de-ices an aircraft.

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