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Biodiversity

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: 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 470 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
A flower meadow with many purple flowers directly in front of a parking area for airplanes, in the background you can see some planes and the airport building
The meadows next to the runways are very valuable ecologically.

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 hectares of meadows next to the runways act as a refuge for meadow breeders, rare plants, reptiles, dragonflies, and butterflies, such as creeping marshwort, sand lizards, ornate bluets, and the dusky large blue.

Protected habitat for the most varied species

The project set up in 2016 entitled «Meadow breeder protection in the area around Munich Airport», with specialist support from the Bavarian Ministry of the Environment, has continued to progress: FMG has been continually developing and testing preventive concepts and measures in recent years on around 50 hectares of land currently used for agriculture, such as nest protection, more extensive cultivation, mowing concepts designed to suit meadow breeders, fencing to protect against predators, and the development of ecological lease agreements with corresponding requirements regarding cultivation. A final report will be produced in 2020 to take stock of the progress made.

One of the flagship projects within the Bavarian Environmental Pact is the airport’s voluntary commitment to protect rare species of moor-based butterflies on «Freisinger Moos». Scarce heath butterflies, bog fritillaries, dusky large blues, and scarce large blues are the four at-risk species that will enjoy a new, protected habitat in an area in the region covering a total space of five hectares. In 2019 also, these areas were mown in a manner suitable for these species, in order to copperfasten the success of the measures already taken. The conservation project on butterfly protection will run provisionally until 2020, when a final report can also be expected.

5 Insect hotels at the airport create additional breeding habitats and hiding places for wild bees in particular.

In June 2019, FMG was one of the first companies to be distinguished by the Bavarian Ministry of the Environment with the title «Blühender Betrieb» (flourishing company) in recognition of its conservation activities. As part of the «Blühpakt Bayern» (Bavarian flowering pact) initiative, the award confirms that FMG fulfills the following criteria, among others:

  • At least 20 percent of open-air space on the company premises is devoted to the creation of near-natural flowered areas
  • No extensive use of chemical pesticides

Facts and Figures

A biotope for a range of different species

In recent years, FMG created habitats on around five hectares in the west of the airport for species of little ringed plover and gray partridge protected under European law, as well as for the Idas Blue butterfly, which is classified nationally as a critically endangered species. Their needs are diverse: The new habitats for the little ringed plover must be a good distance away from roads and woods and consist of gravelly soil with shallow water bodies and elevated nesting sites. The gray partridge, meanwhile, needs a habitat comprising grassed areas, shrubberies, and extensive arable use where no harvesting is carried out. To encourage settlement of the Idas Blue butterfly, topsoil was carefully lifted, transported, and spread over the compensation areas again. In addition, forage crops were also sown.

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