Munich Airport has set itself a target of carbon-neutral growth above 2005 levels, to be reached by 2020. Part of this strategy is being achieved with a focus on lighting systems and the move to LEDs.

Starting in 2009, the airport began replacing traditional lighting fixtures with LEDs, in the road, car parks and, for the first time at a large commercial airport, on the apron as well. Munich Airport pioneered the use of LED lighting on the airfield, on masts up to 34 metres high. Not only do the new lights reduce energy consumption, but they are also providing a better and safer working environment for ramp staff, with a brighter and more even illumination at night, compared to the sodium-vapour lamps traditionally used.

Complementing the new lighting is the deployment of smart lighting control systems. Parking and check-in areas are fitted with motion control sensors to ensure that energy is only being used when people are using the areas. On the apron, the switching on and off of the lighting is coordinated with flight plans, allowing an additional 600 tonnes of CO2 savings a year. The airport has continued the programme, replacing lighting in hangars and workshops with LEDs.

In one of its 200 other energy efficiency projects, Munich Airport covers around 75% of its annual heating energy requirements through its own highly efficient on-site tri-generation plant that combines cooling, heating and power generation in a single facility. The airport meets the remainder of its heating needs from a local utility company via a pipeline. Half of that heat is generated by a biomass-fired cogeneration plant which causes no carbon emissions.