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Kraków Airport plans to introduce an innovative rainwater treatment technology

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Kraków Airport and Veolia Water Technologies sp. z o.o. have signed today a letter of intent concerning preparing a comprehensive conception ensuring the high quality of rainwater drained from the Kraków Airport area to a rainwater sewage system, and then to an external natural receiving body of water.

Kraków Airport is the first airport in Poland and third in the world to introduce the worldwide innovative technology of treatment of the rainwater drained from the airport area. The project is vital to achieve the efficient and safe airport infrastructure operation, and to the development of the reliable and sustainable infrastructure within the frames of the investments covered by the Master Plan for Kraków Airport.


The objective of the project is to guarantee the highest environmental protection standards and to make the airport facilities fully effective and safe. The technology had already been successfully implemented at airports in London and Oslo, among others. This action implements one of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (Objective No. 9).

According to Veolia Technologies sp. z o.o., the treatment installation uses a dedicated, patented technology based on the MBBR (Moving Bed Bioreactor) system. The technology uses the so called bed biofilm reactor and combines the advantages of the activated sludge process and the process using biofilm sprouting trickling filters. The process vessels operate continuously with no need for flushing, and without the risk of the biological filter obstruction. The biofilm sprouts blocks made of polyethylene or polypropylene, which are kept in constant motion by aeration or mixing.

The laboratory tests carried out at the VWT Anox Kaldnes laboratory in Lund, Sweden, will be the complementary element confirming the adopted solutions. The tests will be carried out on the rainwater samples taken from the Kraków Airport area. As a result, documentation will be prepared to make it possible to begin designing the waste water treatment installation supplied with water coming from plane and runway deicing. The connection between the new facility and the existing rainwater treatment infrastructure as well as the Olszanicki Potok stream will be taken into account.

Kraków Airport activity is founded on the sustainable development principles as the Airport administration takes a series of environmental actions. The innovative and ecological solutions are implemented, such as an electric vehicle charging station and hybrid cars for stewards and VIP service employees. The Airport implements programmes dedicated to the local community, which are designed to improve the life quality, for example the programme for improving the acoustic comfort.

In early June, a new section of the airport apron of approximate area of 2.1 ha has been put into operation. It has been completed within the frames of the “Execution of the building works consisting in the expansion of the apron in the northern section within the range of aircraft stands for code C airships, with the possibility of deicing” investment task. Within the frames of the apron expansion, a new S (“Sierra”) inter-apron taxiway has been created, as well as the aircraft stands for planes with C reference code and 22, 23 and 24 numbers. In the winter period the new section of the apron will be used for the aircraft deicing. The deicing agents will be collected by means of the linear drainage system and drained to the closed reservoirs placed near ST-12 transformer station.