Ecosystem

The presence of bird colonies close to the runways has always represented a serious safety hazard for air traffic. The impact of birds against aircraft or the accidental suction of birds into the engines can be dangerous on landing and take-off. The airport's bird colonies include mallard ducks, common coots, lesser grebes, magpies, hawks and goshawks.

To combat this threat using natural means, the airport has a wildlife monitoring service based on modern falconry techniques. More than sixty trained falcons patrol on a daily basis to keep the runway air space free of birds. The discouraging effect of these birds of prey has reduced nesting by the species most dangerous to aviation or has forced them to move further away.

The plant ecosystems of the airport include an area of pine trees, notable for its size and complexity, between the runways and the lake. Covering approximately 90 ha, the evergreen species Stone pine (Pinus pinea), Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis) and Arizona cypress (Cupressus arizonica) are prevalent. Other species include hawthorns, so-called love trees, strawberry trees and elders. The banks alongside runway 36L-18R have been planted with a range of species, such as brooms, and aromatic plants such as rosemary and lavender. As well as helping to improve air quality, the wooded area acts as a visual and acoustic barrier, protects the ground from erosion and is the habitat of 180 kinds of animal, such as stripe-necked terrapins, hares and rabbits, foxes, wildcats, polecats and weasels.

Elsewhere, upon completion of the work to extend the airport, a series of environmental integration measures were taken, replanting banks, recreating habitats, and all the measures included in conditions 5 and 9 of the DIA-01.

The airport's green area is completed by twenty hectares of landscaped areas, planted with a wide variety of species (ginkgo, water cypresses, nut pines, cedars, olive trees, poplars, etc.), surrounding the terminals and built areas. In recent years indigenous shrubs have been planted, such as juniper and oleander.