Landscape design benefits the environment

To integrate Munich Airport into its environment in the best possible way, FMG set about – from the very outset – creating structures that would upgrade the environment in the wider area of Erdinger and Freisinger Moos and link it together. In line with applicable green space planning, a three-zone area was created: Zone I comprises the airport grounds, including the take-off and landing runway system, buildings and roads; Zone II is composed of the wooded green belt with structural diversity around the airport premises; and Zone III is made up of ecological compensation measures.

107 curlew breeding pairs nested on the airport meadows in 2021.

Zone I: Airport premises with runway system, buildings, and roads

Green areas with currently around 5,000 planted trees make up almost two thirds of the airport premises. Specialist care and maintenance has led to a rich variety of vegetation and ecologically valuable habitats especially for rare meadow breeders, particularly inside the security fence, on the green areas between the runways and their infrastructure facilities.

Zone II: Wooded green belt with structural diversity around the airport premises

With its woods, drainage channels, and meadows, this area around the edge of the airport acts as sound protection and as a buffer for settlements and agriculture. For instance, the northern receiving ditch with its near-natural designed course, is home to plants that are worthy of protection such as the pasqueflower, ox-eye, perennial flax, and campanula. On the list of particularly protected species are the marsh gladiolus and fen pondweed.

Zone III: Ecological compensation measures

FMG has meanwhile planned and created approximately 520 hectares of compensation areas. The aim is to offset the interventions in the natural landscape caused by the building projects. The responsible certification bodies have confirmed that sufficient areas have been cultivated and that these are looked after properly. These compensation areas for conservation, with their structural diversity and rich variety of vegetation, make an important contribution to biodiversity in the region. They are distributed in the agricultural land and provide shelter and stepping stones in the biotope network. They are neither fertilized nor treated with pesticides.

Zone model

Zone model of the landscape around Munich Airport, divided into zones I-III (map)

Successful balancing of breeding sites

Starting in the fall of 2017, FMG has taken steps to compensate for the loss of breeding sites on approximately 73 hectares as a result of large-scale infrastructure projects to the east of the airport. In order to create new habitats, especially for the curlew, lapwing, skylark, little ringed plover, and gray wagtail, around 3.5 hectares of woodland were cleared, around 65,000 cubic meters of soil were removed for terrain depressions, and around 35 hectares of meadows were replanted with native herb and grass mixtures. In addition, the abandonment of fertilization and adapted mowing enhance the existing meadows. The mapping that has been running in parallel since the start of the construction measures has documented the success: The number of breeding sites of almost all bird species even exceeds the required amount. With the acceptance of these areas by the responsible nature conservation authorities, their creation will be completed in 2021; adapted maintenance for the future is ensured.

Bird sanctuary on airport premises

Munich Airport is an inherent part of the 4,525-hectare «Nördliches Erdinger Moos» European bird sanctuary, which is home to 40 species of bird, some highly endangered. The 658-hectare meadow areas next to the runways and the compensation and replacement areas outside the airport premises serve as a refuge for meadow-breeding grassland birds, rare plants, reptiles, and insects.

«Bird sanctuary and airport operations»

Green areas (photo)
About two thirds of the airport site consist of green areas.

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