Design Program Based PCN Evaluation of Aircraft Pavements

The Pavement Classification Number (PCN) evaluation and reporting procedure has been detailed in Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Advisory Circular No. 150/5335-5B. The procedure essentially covers estimation of PCN for the pavement thickness, considering the aircraft traffic in terms of the fleet mix operating from the facility. The actual correlation of the Aircraft Classification Numbers (ACN)--PCN is based on COMFAA version 3.0. The COMFAA programme derives its pavement thickness estimation from the charts provided in FAA Advisory Circular No 150/5320-6D, which for flexible pavement designs are based on the California bearing ratio-equivalent single wheel load (CBR-ESWL) method and for rigid pavements are based on the Westergaard’s theory and are included in International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Aerodrome Design Manual Part 3 – Pavements. With advances in computing technology, new pavement design methodologies have also evolved viz; Mechanistic-Empirical designs based on Layered Elastic theory for Flexible pavements and Finite Element analysis for Rigid pavements. FAA, via its Advisory Circular No 150/5320-6E has provided the guidelines for use of this methodology for design of aircraft pavements. The design methods being able to model and analyse the pavement structures in a better way, they provide for a more efficient pavement thickness design. The design thicknesses computed by the FAARFIELD software for both rigid and flexible aircraft pavements is thus based on an advanced pavement analysis methodology compared to that computed by the COMFAA software. The PCN reporting based on COMFAA is therefore not matched in design principle and thus to the design thicknesses computed by FAARFIELD or any other software adopting mechanistic-empirical methods. The paper presents an alternative approach based on first principles for evaluating and reporting the design PCN value aligned the specific design principle / methodology adopted by the software used for pavement design. For the purpose of this paper, FAARFIELD software is adopted for analysis and reporting of the Design PCN value.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 18p
  • Monograph Title: 2014 FAA Worldwide Airport Technology Transfer Conference Proceedings: Innovations in Airport Safety and Pavement Technology

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01538145
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: P10037
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI, USDOT
  • Created Date: Sep 9 2014 6:21AM