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Quality, Environment, Safety and Security at Montpellier Méditerranée Airport


Since 2000, Montpellier Méditerranée Airport has been seeking to implement a management system to ensure consistent optimized operations.

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:


Montpellier Méditerranée Airport aims to satisfy its clients, whether passengers or users of the platform. To serve this purpose satisfaction surveys are conducted periodically.

Passanger satisfaction

Montpellier Méditerranée Airport carries out a satisfaction survey 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.

The latest campaign was conducted in June 2012. It covers the Spring / Summer period of 2012.

States overall satisfaction level

This indicator of “stated” overall satisfaction answers the question: "With reference to your experience today, how would you spontaneously rate Montpellier Méditerranée Airport?"

Stated overall satisfaction level - June 2012 Passenger Survey - Montpellier Méditerranée Airport  

Passenger complaints and suggestions

To receive complaints and comments from passengers, Montpellier Airport provides the relevant forms at the Reception desks.

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


The location of Montpellier Mediterranean Airport on the coast allows it to avoid the phenomena of the 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.

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 favors the rapid dispersion of emitted pollutants. 
  • Slight decrease of NO2 and benzene around the airport thanks to the overall improvement in the Montpellier region.


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.


As an extension of its Charter for Noise Abatement and sustainable development, Montpellier Mediterranean Airport has set up an Environmental Code of Good Practice for the Air Traffic, whose objective is to define some rules destinated to control 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 situations the code’s practices cannot be guaranteed.


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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