Environmental approach and policy

Bordeaux Airport’s environmental policy is central to all its concerns.

Noise

The success of our efforts to cut noise pollution generated by aircraft relies on continuous input from various parties, including construction firms, airlines, civil aviation authorities and the airport management entity. These parties each offer specific skills and spearhead particular actions.

Within its area of activity, the airport operator has implemented the following projects:

  • Since 2003, the airport has been equipped with a system for measuring noise and monitoring aircraft’s flight paths. This has enabled us to gather reliable information about the noise generated by the airport and provide precise responses to local residents’ queries. 
  • Since 2004, a financial assistance scheme has allowed us to soundproof local residents’ homes when they meet certain regulatory criteria.

Additionally, urban planning regulations are inscribed into and mapped out in the Noise Exposure Forecast, so that new residential areas are not exposed to noise pollution in the immediate or long term and aviation remains a viable industry.

Energy and Air

In its role as the airport’s operator, Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport SA ensures that all the energy it needs for its own purposes and for the purposes of the businesses it accommodates is properly generated and distributed. As certain resources become scarcer and costs rise, the airport is taking particular care to manage its energy use, which in turn helps to improve air quality.

Energy production and distribution

The airport operator has used its remit to implement the following projects:

  • Since 2000, Nouvelle-Aquitaine’s official air quality assessment organisation (Atmo Nouvelle-Aquitaine, formerly AIRAQ) has led periodic campaigns to raise awareness about air quality issues.
  • Energy efficient solutions are used, including LED lighting on runway access routes and in car parks.
  • Energy regulation systems and boilers have been renovated to optimise the amount of gas used to heat facilities.
  • Terminals’ heating and cooling setpoints have been altered.
  • Presence detectors have been integrated into the lighting control system.
  • All electricity has come from 100% renewable sources since 2017.
  • As of 2019, a system will gradually be rolled out to connect aircraft on the ground using a 400 Hz converter that reduces the need for planes to run their auxiliary power units or portable generators. Solar panels will also be installed and electric vehicle charging points will be added to certain car parks.

The airport’s partners have also implemented a large selection of initiatives, including:

  • The constant renewal of fleets by airlines.
  • A gradual shift orchestrated by ground crew from fossil fuel equipment to electrical equipment.

Water

The work carried out on the airport’s vast impervious ground surface creates potentially polluted run-off. The airport also consumes drinking water and industrial water, which it releases back as wastewater. Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport SA monitors these issues closely so that it can manage its resources effectively.

With this in mind, the following action has been taken:

  • The amount of water used per passenger and per tonne of freight has remained stable since 2010. 
  • The airport produces more than 90% of the drinking water it consumes through a rainwater harvest system that is regularly inspected by an accredited laboratory and the Regional Health Authority.
  • A run-off treatment plant was created in 2015 in the airport’s main drainage basin (known as “BV3” and covering 235 hectares). This allows us to control the flow and the condition of wastewater in line with local laws.

Waste

Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport SA’s policy in this area aims to control how waste is generated and improve how it is managed, so that it is sorted and recycled more effectively.

  • Our business generates around 800 tonnes of waste annually: a figure that has remained relatively stable in recent years. Nearly 80% of it can be classed as household waste.
  • An average of 95% of our waste is recycled. Three-quarters are used to produce energy, and the remainder is repurposed.

Accessibility

The airport and its air and space hub are significant driving forces for the region’s economic development, and it is very important to all their employees and passengers that they have good local transport links.

With this in mind, the following action has been taken:  

  • For several years, the airport has encouraged the local metropolitan authorities to improve public transport around the airport. By 2021-2022, this partnership with the Bordeaux Metropolitan Area will result in an extension of the tram network’s line A to the terminals. A high-performance bus route will also be created between the airport and Pessac Alouette train station to provide direct access to Saint-Jean train station.
  • As part of a multi-company transport plan, the airport is also working to optimise employees’ commutes alongside aeronautics businesses based around the airport in the local authority-operated Bordeaux Aeroparc.