Protection of habitats (GRI 303 3-3)

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, in a concentration that varies according to the weather, is used for de-icing aircrafts. ADM has invested nearly $40 million in the construction of a de-icing center at Montréal-Trudeau airport, which recovers glycol through a system of underground pipes. Thanks to state-of-the-art technologies, de-icing trucks – equipped with sensors – can better target the application of de-icer and increase its efficiency, thus reducing the quantity used while respecting the highest safety standards.


In 2012, ADM expanded the de-icing center. The de-icing apron has been extended by an area of ​​32,500 m2 to accommodate up to eight aircrafts at a time.

ADM and its partner Aéro Mag have made efforts to set up a system for recycling glycol and reintroducing it into the de-icing process. A concentrator installed in March 2013 brings the glycol concentration down to around 50%. A distillation tower raises the glycol concentration to 99.5%. The glycol is then recertified and reused for aircraft de-icing. This project, which represents an investment of more than $9 million, jointly financed by ADM, Aéro Mag and the air carriers, was inaugurated on October 29, 2014. It should be noted that this project is a world first and that it enabled the Company to be a finalist in the Mercuriades 2015, a competition organized by the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec.

In 2015, the second phase was funded by ADM to the tune of $15 million for the development of the concept, plans and specifications, as well as the realization of various operational and environmental efficiency projects. The following improvement works have been carried out to confine the glycol within the perimeter of the de-icing center:

  • Expansion and waterproofing of the existing snow dump
  • Containment and waterproofing of the Southern ditch of the de-icing centre
  • Interception of all foundation drains of the roadway structure of the deck and the snow deposit.

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, various equipment is present to protect aquatic environments. For example, oil and sediment sensors are installed in parking lots to reduce the amount of suspended solids carried into waterways during rainwater runoff. Hydrocarbon interceptors are also installed in aircraft refueling areas to avoid serious environmental consequences in the event of accidental fuel spills during refueling.

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).