Some general, but fundamental, concepts relative to airport pavement evaluation and performances are discussed. Current pavement design methodologies can be grouped into structurally (load) or functionally (safety and smoothness) oriented designs, depending on the selection of the failure criteria. Most present airport pavement design methods are structurally oriented, but it has been suggested that they should be functionally oriented and that different sets of functional criteria should be developed and applied for each pavement area (apron, taxiway, or runway). Pavement performance studies are commonly grouped into two major categories: structural evaluation and condition surveys. Each has a different set of desirable objects. The concept of a management type of approach to airport pavements is advocated in a systems framework proposed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the Federal Aviation Administration, but for this type of system or management framework to be effective, continuous feedback and verification studies of several key elements are mandatory. The Key elements requiring verification are those relative to (a) the as-built pavement structure, (b) the design input variables, and (c) the performance output model. The two most important areas requiring accurate data collection relate to the in situ (equilibrium) response (i.e., the strength or modulus) of the subgrade soil and the actual aircraft traffic-mix information that is recommended to be used in a mixed traffic analysis. This information is vital if one is to be able to make reliable and meaningful decisions relative to the pavement management scheme. The feedback-verification part of the system is mandatory because it will provide (a) information about the exact in situ (operational) state of the pavement components, thus bridging the gap between what the designer has assumed relative to what actually exists; (b) a common procedure leading to the earliest recognition of impending major pavement distress; (c) a common basis for accurate decisions and efficient plans for corrective measures when necessary; (d) the required input for developing a major rehabiliation scheme; (e) a reliable methodology for assessing the remaining life of a pavement; and (f) an adequate and rational procedure for evaluating the load-carrying capacity of a pavement. /Author/

  • Record URL:
  • Availability:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper appeared in TRB Special Report 175, Research in Airport Pavements Distribution, posting, or copying of this PDF is strictly prohibited without written permission of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials in this PDF are copyrighted by the National Academy of Sciences. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Authors:
    • Witczak, M W
  • Conference:
  • Publication Date: 1978

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 69-75
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00189936
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: May 11 2000 12:00AM