Leipzig/Halle Airport is actively involved in nature conservation and closely coordinates matters with the responsible authorities. The ecological replacement and compensation measures to maintain valuable biotopes in the area located fairly close to Leipzig/Halle Airport need to be mentioned as important measures.
The largest part of an airport’s grounds consists of green space. The average percentage of “green space” is 70% at German airports.
Air safety is the main priority when designing and maintaining green areas at an airport. Payload capacities and freedom from obstacles are important criteria, but making the area less attractive to flocks of large birds, which can pose a danger to air traffic safety, is significant too.
An airport as a nature reserve?
The percentage of paved surfaces at an airport is naturally high. However, compared to other methods of transport, air traffic uses the smallest surface area.
(Source: ADV) (German only)
The green areas cover 736 hectares at Leipzig/Halle Airport – following the expansion of the southern runway.
The airport’s green areas are “airport meadows” and are treated as such. Fertilisers and pesticides are not used at all. This is known as “thinning” the green areas. In this way, these parts of the airport facilities can be kept, and even improved, as valuable areas to protect species and biotopes.
Ecological compensation measures
The expansion of the southern runway and apron was - in size and many other ways - an intrusion into the appearance and character of an entire region. It was very important for those involved in the planning of the airport expansion to act in a responsible way with regard to the relationship between the airport and the environment.
In order to maintain the variety of species in the surrounding area, numerous projects within the supporting landscape preservation plan are being and have been used to create ecological compensation measures. Vegetation has been planted on an area measuring about 250 hectares as part of the compensation for the development work associated with building the southern runway, for example.
The centrepieces of this ecological compensation are the “Gerbisdorfer Trenches”, the “Gerbisdorfer Sand Pits” natural monument, the “Northern Reservoir”, areas south of Radefeld and Freiroda – “Kalter Born”, the area around the former malt factory or the “Old Schkeuditz Public Baths”. The “Gerbisdorfer Sand Pits” sub-project, which covers an area measuring 14 hectares, contains extensive spawning grounds that were moved, shallow water biotopes, woodlands and meadows.
The “Northern Reservoir”, which measures 28 hectares, is a part of the biotope corridor connected to the “Gerbisdorfer Sand Pits”. The reservoir is primarily a rainwater retention basin. So called “foothold” biotopes create a link between wooded areas and biotopes that are separated and ensure a natural transition for flora and fauna. The measures also include more ponds, the renaturation of streams and the planting of wooded areas, hedges and meadow or grassed areas.
The aim of all our ecological compensation efforts is to partially restore the natural landscape that is typical of the area and preserve the habitat around Leipzig/Halle Airport.