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Quality, Environment, Safety and Security at Montpellier Méditerranée Airport


For more than 20 years now, Montpellier Méditerranée Airport is actively monitoring its environmental impact through a management system to ensure consistent optimized operations.

In order to reach those objectives, airport direction put in place a global strategy and an environmental policy:


Official recognition and reference systems

Whether on a regulatory or a voluntary basis, the airport has obtained various titles of recognition in recent years. We note in particular:

Additionally, Montpellier airport is engaged in the « Airport Carbon Accreditation » program in order to manage and reduce its carbon footprint. Accreditation levels 1 and 2 should be reached by 2021.


Montpellier Méditerranée Airport is aiming at the satisfaction of its customers, whether they are passengers or users of the platform. To serve this purpose satisfaction surveys are conducted periodically.

Passenger satisfaction

Montpellier Méditerranée Airport carries out satisfaction surveys twice a year on a sample of 1,000 passengers. These campaigns cover two aeronautical seasons i.e. "spring / summer" and "autumn / winter" and are conducted along with ten other French airports, to standardize procedure and learn about best practices.


Passenger complaints and suggestions

To receive complaints and comments from passengers, Montpellier Airport provides the relevant forms at the Reception desks as well as on this website.

The airport is committed to respond to any claim within a period of 2 weeks, whether issued in the terminal or sent by mail.



Montpellier Méditerranée Airport is aiming at managing its impact on the environment thanks to targeted actions in the following domains:

Global warming is one of the main issue of the 21st century and can be mitigated by the management of the green house effect gases (GHG, such as carbon dioxide CO2). Air transport industry is responsible for between 2 and 3% of the total GHG emissions generated by human activities. Air transport actors are well aware of their carbon emission footprints and are strongly involved in the transformation of their industry: massive investments have been realised to have a “greener” aviation so that a sustainable development of this industry is possible.
Montpellier Méditerranée airport wants to take part in this challenge by developing a low carbon strategy through a carbon emissions management plan and an action plan for future investments. The objective is to reduce overall emissions and to promote « greener » activities which are carbon free at the airport scales, including settled companies and partners. 
Montpellier airport was certified level 2 in 2021 and level 3 in 2022 of the “Airport Carbon Accreditation” program. This international airport program has already certified more than 300 airports worldwide and is composed of 6 accreditation levels, and aims at encouraging airports to implement low carbon processes.

Montpellier airport expect to reach level 3+ of this certification by 2026”. These upper levels include carbon emissions generated by all the airport’s tenants: aeronautical parties (airlines, handling, maintenance company, pilot schools) as well as non-aeronautical players (hotels, restaurants, transports, logistics, etc). Carbon neutrality shall be reached by 2050 according to IPCC accords.

AMM’s ACA presentation flyer is available below:

ACA flyer

The location of Montpellier Mediterranean Airport on the coast allows to avoid the phenomena of accumulation of atmospheric pollutants, common in most other airports. However, the fight against the various types of pollution (air traffic, service vehicles, energy production centre, heating, air conditioning…) remains an ongoing concern.

Indeed, a differentiation shall be made between Green House Effect gazes (carbon dioxide, methane, refrigerant gases), leading to global warming, and air pollutants (fine particles, NOx, VOC), leading to air quality issue and deteriorating the health of local ecosystems (workers, fauna, flora). 

Since 2003, air quality measurement campaigns have been carried out every 5 years by Atmo Occitanie.

They evaluated the levels in ambient air of compounds emitted by aircraft and other activities related to the presence of the airport, both outside and inside the airport.


  • Inside: Arrivals hall, Departure lounges, Check-in area, Gangway.
  • Outside: Traffic lanes in front of the airport, Access road to the airport area, Car park, Aircraft parking area, Main runway 


  • Nitrogen dioxide (NO2): measurement of the presence of combustion from automobile and aircraft traffic. 60% of nitrogen dioxide is produced by vehicles. It affects pulmonary function and can cause infections.
  • Benzene-toluene-xylene (BTX): measurement of presence in vehicles, aircraft, industries, solvents… They provoke olfactory problems, irritation and reduced lung capacity. Benzene has mutagenic and carcinogenic effects.
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOC): enter the composition of fuels and many other common products (paint, ink, glue, stain remover, cosmetics, solvents…). VOCs are also released by the natural environment.


  • Compliance with regulatory thresholds for ambient air and inside air.  
  • Minor impact on local air quality. The very open environment helps in the rapid dispersion of emitted pollutants. 
  • Slight decrease of NO2 and benzene around the airport thanks to the overall improvement in the Montpellier region.

Air quality on Montpellier Méditerranée Airport (Hérault) - 2018 assessment

Since 2017, Montpellier Airport has put in place an inventory of both pollutants and GHG emissions. This is possible thanks to a partnership with ATMO Occitanie, allowing:

  • The identification and localisation of the various emissions sources on the airpot perimeter; 
  • A comparison of the emissions generated by the airport compared to the global regional emissions.
  • The influence of the airport on the pollutants concentration in the air.

The following method is used to build the inventory, based on real airport activity data. Two categories are identified :


Aircraft emissions are computed over taxi phase, take off and landing phases as well as climb and cruise phase at an altitude below 3000ft. This corresponds to the Landing and Take Off cycles. 
Above 3000ft, emissions are not taken into account as it corresponds to the atmospheric mixing layer altitude. Above this altitude, emissions do not have impact on lower atmospheric layers.

Five phases are considered : approach, after landing taxi, before take off taxi, take off and climb. 

  • For each aircraft movements, emissions corresponding to each phases are computed.
  • Tyres degradation, breaking and runway deterioration related emissions are also taken into account.  



This emissions category can be issued from both mobile and fixed sources:

Fixed sources: 

  • APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) 
  • Heaters and boilers (oil and gas engines), 
  • Air conditioning, 
  • Fuel storage, 
  • Gas distribution networks, 
  • Biological sources (flora), 
  • Deicing operations (aircraft and surfaces). 


Mobile sources:  

  • AMM’s fleet of vehicles,  
  • Airport bound vehicle traffic (taxis, parking lots, drop off), 
  • Bus network, 
  • Other vehicles.

The study boundary is displayed below: 



In order to have a clear visualisation of the airport emissions, a mapping of the NO2, PM10 and PM2,5 concentrations are issued from a modelization software. This software uses mathematical models taking into account climate, air and winds, as well as other technical parameters.
Overall, emissions located on the closest inhabited area around the airport are similar to those measured on other urbanized area of the city of Montpellier. 



Aircraft activity, commercial and general aviation, are responsible for a very large majority of both pollutants and GHG emissions: 90% of the total (methane excluded).

General aviation’s share is the biggest among all the airport activities for both GHG and pollutants emissions. 
Concerning ground emissions, APU emissions are the largest.

Latest studies and reports available on ATMO Occitanie’s website: 

Montpellier Mediterranean Airport has set up an Environmental Code of Good Practice for the Air Traffic, whose objective is to define some rules aiming at controlling noise and gas emission (CO2, azote) generated around the airport.

In full awareness of the vital importance that respect for the environment will have on the long term development of commercial aviation, the Air Traffic Service actors, signatories of this code, agree to actively pursue noise and gas emission abatement, keeping as a principal objective their own safety and that of the population in overfly zones. This text is applicable under normal working conditions for the airport. In the case of unusual events, practices cannot be guaranteed.

Code of Good Environmental Conduct - Montpellier Méditerranée Airport - 2019

A webpage fully dedicated to residents is available here : 


With 470 hectares, the task for the airport operator is to preserve the natural environment from discharge (groundwater and surface water) and prevent the risks of pollution.

For several years, the airport has been investing in important installations in the areas concerned (car parks, buildings, roads).


Airports are characterized by the fact that a tenth of their area is made up of impervious surfaces (parking areas for cars and airplanes, roads, buildings, runways…).
When it rains, the runoff is charged with all the pollutants on the ground (dust, kerosene, tire tracks, oil…). The installations are designed to discharge filtered water into the natural environment to avoid polluting it.
Since 2001, the airport has made sizeable investments in compliance with the order of the Prefect issued on 24 November 2003 in regard to water laws.

The runoff system involves a process of collection, sludge-oil separation, and retention ponds or tanks before discharge into the natural environment. Water from the car parks, aircraft parking areas, traffic lanes, maintenance areas, freight zones and airport terminals is fed into this collection and processing system.


Pollution accidents such as spills from overfilling aircraft fuel tanks can happen. Therefore all the necessary precautions are taken to prevent chronic and accidental pollution.

These precautions take the form of a number of structural devices (treatment basins for chronic and accidental pollution of maintenance areas, oil separators in the car parks) designed to treat runoff prior to discharge into the natural environment.


The airport site is positioned over a series of superimposed, interconnecting water tables (surface, Villafranchian and Astian) that are separated by clay layers.
The groundwater level is monitored by 2 piezometers positioned in the P2 car park at a depth of roughly 10 meters.

As the groundwater is used to water green spaces, the airport has installed facilities with a measurement system to better control the impact on the use of surface water:

  • Volumetric water meter.
  • Protection of boreholes (closing and sealing).
  • Procedure for accidental spillage.


The airport is supplied, via Vauguières water treatment station, by 80% of water from Bas Rhône Languedoc and 20% from the boreholes at Vauguières.


After use, the wastewater is collected by a wastewater network and taken to the Carnon-Pérols wastewater treatment plant for processing. 


The Montpellier Mediterranean Airport platform is located on the northwestern shore of the Etang de l’Or coastal lagoon of Mauguio.
It is thus bordered to the south, the east and the west, by a vast complex of wetland areas surrounding the lagoons of Mauguio and Palavas, sheltering highly diversified flora and fauna.
These lagoons are also an important migratory staging point in spring and summer for all the birds of Western Europe that migrate along the Rhone valley and across the Mediterranean to North and West Africa and back.


Natura 2000 sites

The coastal lagoons of the Etang d’Or and Palavas are fully classified under Natura 2000 (Special Protection Area and Site of Community Interest). Classification as a Special Protection Area is related to the fact that these lagoons are home to many natural habitats for birds listed in Annex I of the European "Birds" Directive.

Natural Areas of Flora and Fauna Ecological Interest (ZNIEFF)

A ZNIEFF is a territorial sector of special ecological interest contributing to preserving the natural balance or constituting the living environment of rare plant and animal species that are characteristic of natural regional heritage.

Coastal lagoons of l’Etang d’Or and Palavas, “RAMSAR” sites

The Ramsar Convention is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands, to curb the degradation and disappearance of wetlands, today and in the future, by recognizing the basic ecological functions of wetlands as well as their economic, cultural, scientific and recreational value.


Natural habitats

The airport platform can be divided into two parts:

  • The northern part mainly consisting of the habitats of “Mediterranean hay meadows”, with the little bustard, red-legged partridge, northern lapwing, golden plover, cattle egret, black kite, kestrel, black crow, jackdaw and starling.
  • The southern part mainly consisting of “Mediterranean salt meadows” and “salt marshes” with the grey heron, egret, flamingo, shelduck, Mediterranean gull and yellow-legged gull.

Migratory species are also present, such as the sand martin, house martin, barn swallow and common swift.

Montpellier Mediterranean Airport represents a complex of premises and facilities that are energy-intensive.

To ensure proper operation of these facilities, the platform offers highly effective equipment for the heating and cooling in the buildings.

Steps to reduce electricity consumption are taken each year including the installation of "new generation" LED lighting during the construction and renovation of buildings and finalization of the replacement of beacons by LED lamps on taxiways.


Since November 2015, a 4.5 MWp photovoltaic solar power system has been installed in the car parks at Montpellier Méditerranée Airport.

PV panel shading covers 1,800 parking spaces, ensuring passenger comfort. An area is provided with two terminals for free charging of electric vehicles.

The 16,016 modules with special anti-glare glass can produce 6,200 MWh/year, equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 5,000 people (excluding heating) for a carbon gain of 4,200 tons/year, equivalent to 2,500 cars travelling 10,000 km/year.


Non-hazardous waste from economic activities

For the sake of proximity to waste generators, four sorting areas, including a recycling centre, are located on the platform according to the type of waste products: paper, cardboard, wood, reusable pallets, bulky scrap, plastic bottles and cans.

Hazardous Waste from economic activities

Hazardous waste management tends to be far more complex than that of non-hazardous waste, particular due to its toxicity or danger. Producers are responsible for their own waste: oils, tires, oil filters, rags and soiled packaging and batteries.


Montpellier-Méditerranée Airport strives to increase its waste recovery rate by regularly promoting waste sorting at source among the platform's companies.


Montpellier Méditerranée Airport strives to continuously improve safety and accident prevention within the perimeters managed by the airport company.

Public buildings

Montpellier Méditerranée Airport PLC complies with Public Building regulations - Type 1 category. In this framework, the obligations mainly related to planning and fire safety are respected.

Employee safety - labour code

In compliance with regulations, Montpellier Airport has drafted a single document for the prevention of risks related to the work of airport personnel. It also issues prevention schemes for any subcontracted work requiring this.


New text, new requirements...
The European Regulation (February 2014) requires eligible airports (those with more than 10,000 passengers/year of commercial traffic) to comply with new requirements and upgrade the compliance of their procedures, organisations and infrastructure. 
French Airport certification is ensured by the DSAC (Civil Aviation Safety Directorate) and regularly monitored within the framework of audits.  

The organisation and operation of aeronautical infrastructures are particularly targeted. Montpellier Airport has seen some of its missions extended. It acts as the "conductor" of security on its platform. 

From now on, the operator is responsible for obstruction monitoring, animal risk assessment and hazardous activities and plays a more important role than ever before. It guarantees fire prevention, rescue coordination, the correct use of alcohol and psychoactive substances, the training programme and finally the monitoring of skills for all airport workers.

The safety management system is based on 5 pillars:


Airport security must comply with the international regulations applied to Europe and France. This regulation requires any airport wishing to receive commercial traffic

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