Even more of a focus on waste
Waste and recyclable products are generated in all areas of airport operations. These are collected at the point of origin in various separation systems, handed over to certified specialist companies near the airport, processed in sorting plants and then recycled or recovered. The situation on the disposal and recycling market did not improve significantly in the reporting year due to an oversupply of mixed recyclables compared with scarce capacities at recycling plants. Since the start of the pandemic, waste management has also been challenged in unusual ways. In dialog with customers and employees, waste management will be aligned with the currently relevant EU targets, which focus on waste avoidance, increased recycling, and the closing of material cycles.
End of 2023: Development of a concept for reducing the use of disposable plastics
Responsible water management
The aim of water management at Munich Airport is to affect the natural water balance as little as possible and to minimize any adverse effects caused by water management, drainage, and drinking and firefighting water supplies.
Process water instead of drinking water
Munich Airport is increasingly using process water where drinking water quality is not required: for concrete work and construction site moistening, for cleaning runways with high-pressure equipment, for wet sweepers, for cleaning sewers, and for watering green areas, shrubs and trees. In addition, the West and East power stations have been supplied for several years with near-surface quaternary groundwater (process water) from specially drilled wells instead of valuable 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 2021, with total savings now amounting to some 2,400,000 cubic meters since the practice of using process water began in 2010. In order to be able to save an additional 50,000 cubic meters of drinking water per year, additional process water wells are being planned and prepared for construction; one well was able to be put into operation at the end of 2021.
By 2019, drinking water consumption at Munich Airport hovered consistently at around one million cubic meters in recent years despite growth in passenger numbers. In 2021, the airport sourced a total of only 562,510 cubic meters of drinking water from the Moosrain water utility company due to Corona. As in 2020, this is around 45 percent less than before the crisis.
Process water instead of drinking water for air conditioning purposes
End of 2025: Increased use of process water instead of drinking water through the construction of process water wells
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 60.3 percent for the 2020/2021 winter season. The recycling rate has ranged between 41 and a maximum of just under 60 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.