Pro‌tec‌ti‌on Wa‌ter and Soil

Protecting water

Protecting the groundwater and neighbouring stretches of water above ground is an important issue for Leipzig/Halle Airport. It has adopted numerous measures to protect areas of water.


At first glance, an airport seems to be subject to the same water and waste water cycles as any other company in the manufacturing or services sector. This may be largely true with regard to the drinking water and waste water cycles. 

However, differences emerge when it comes to waste water from catering facilities. The waste water is pre-treated with natural grease traps. It is only then fed into the city of Leipzig’s waste water drainage network with the waste water from the check-in and office buildings.

Surface water drainage

A sophisticated system is used to drain the surface of the sealed areas on both the runways. This includes slotted channel collecting points, drains, recesses and blind drains along the air traffic areas. 

Light liquid separators ensure that any fuel remains in the rainwater are filtered out. 

The rainwater is subjected to quality checks and is fed into filter beds, if necessary. It is then fed into the surrounding streams in small doses via the subsequent rainwater retention basins. 

The drainage system can be steered and managed using the latest computer technology. This creates guarantees for the soil and the surrounding areas of water in a number of ways:

  • Protection from flooding during heavy rainfall by storing the water and releasing it in a regulated manner
  • Protection from hazardous materials entering the surrounding streams by blocking the retention basins

Providing for protection for water and soil

In addition to its primary task of fighting fires and dealing with disasters, the airport fire brigade is responsible for protecting the soil and water (particularly in accidents). 

If an emergency occurs, the airport fire brigade, the local fire brigade from the surrounding area, the Federal Agency for Technical Relief and the oil brigades coordinate their operations according to an alarm plan. Smaller amounts of kerosene that leak during the fuelling of aircraft are absorbed by binding agents or a special device operated by the airport fire brigade.

Environmentally-friendly winter services

The airport’s winter services also ensure a clean environment by using modern technology. The aim is to primarily guarantee aircraft safety without using any chemicals. If necessary, biologically degradable agents based on formate are used to de-ice aircraft wings. 

The planes are de-iced with a glycol/water mixture on separate stands. Any excess de-icing agents can then be deliberately collected, fed to underground containers and then disposed of professionally. The de-icing systems have been improved now on both the northern and southern runways. De-icing areas have been created right next to the taxiways. This means that aircraft can be de-iced directly before take-off – with the result that fewer de-icing chemicals are required.