Protection of habitats

Snow-clearing and de-icing operations in movement area


Given the exceptional winter conditions that prevail in Québec, the removal of snow and ice from runways is of critical importance for aviation safety. 

To reduce the environmental impact of its operations, since 2011 ADM has been using sodium formate and potassium acetate at Montréal–Trudeau instead of urea to de-ice the aircraft movement area. 

In addition, there are snow dump sites on airport lands for disposal of snow removed from roads, parking lots, aprons and movement areas. In the spring, water from the melting snow at these dumps drains into a sedimentation pond, where particles in the snow settle before the melt water is released into the storm drains. Following the enlargement of surfaces requiring snow removal and to respect its commitment to environmental protection, in 2011 and 2013 ADM performed work to enlarge the snow dumps at Montréal–Trudeau. This work required a total investment in excess of $5 million.

Recovery of glycol


Glycol, mixed with water, is used for aircraft de-icing. ADM has invested nearly $40 million in the construction of a de-icing centre at Montréal–Trudeau that allows glycol to be recovered via a system of underground pipes. In addition, de-icing trucks are equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including sensors, to achieve more targeted delivery of de-icer and increase its effectiveness. This reduces the quantity of de-icer used while ensuring compliance with the most stringent safety standards.


In 2012, ADM expanded the aircraft de-icing centre. An additional 32,500 m2 was added to the apron surface area. The centre can now accommodate up to eight aircraft at a time.

ADM and its partner Aéro Mag have implemented a system for collection and recycling of glycol so that it can be reused as de-icer. This aircraft de-icing product has been collected for years. A concentrator installed in March 2013 brings the glycol to a concentration of 50%. A distillation tower then brings the concentration to 99.5%. The glycol can then be recertified and reused for aircraft de-icing. This facility, which represents more than a $9 million investment by ADM, Aéro Mag and the airlines, was inaugurated on October 29, 2014. The project is a world first, and earned ADM a nomination for the 2015 Mercuriades competition organized by the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec.

In 2015, ADM has invested $15 million in the second phase of the project for the development of the concept of plans and specifications, as well as the realization of various projects of operational and environmental efficiency. The following improvement work was carried out to contain glycol inside the perimeter of the de-icing centre :

  • Expand and waterproof the projected of existing snow dump;
  • Contain and waterproof the south ditch of the de-icing centre;
  • Intercept all foundation drains of the pavement structure of the apron and snow dump.

Monitoring of water and air quality

There are several watercourses on Aéroports de Montréal lands. To ensure their protection, ADM has implemented a program to monitor the quality of rainwater, sanitary sewer water and stormwater. Sampling programs are entrusted to external firms with the necessary credentials. More than 500 analyses are carried out annually on samples of stormwater collected for the different outlets of Montréal–Trudeau and Montréal–Mirabel. Periodic inspections are conducted to verify compliance with municipal water quality standards.

In addition, a variety of facilities exist to ensure protection of aquatic habitats. Parking lots are equipped with sediment traps to reduce the amount of suspended matter in stormwater runoff. Hydrocarbon interceptors are also used at aircraft refuelling pads to avoid serious consequences for the environment in the event of accidental spillage of fuel.

In addition, the City of Montréal has an air quality measuring station at Montréal–Trudeau, and the data is available on the City’s website (in French).