Development of a Reliable Geospatial Data Collection and Management System for Airport Pavement Inspection and Evaluation

One of the greatest single assets of an airport is the pavement that constitutes its runways, taxiways, and aprons. However, effective tools are currently unavailable to inspect, evaluate, and manage this important asset. The FAA has continued to support the use of MicroPAVER software, a system that was developed using 1970s technology and computing power, as a tool for pavement management. The Air Force developed the MicroPAVER software in a mainframe application to distribute pavement maintenance funds among different Air Force bases. For lack of a better system, the FAA has supported that system in advisory circular AC 150/5380-7. The limitations of managing pavement assets using the MicroPAVER system, based solely on distress index, without any traffic, structural, material property, or geospatial-mapping of distress data has been well documented. As a result, several airports are going beyond the capabilities of MicroPAVER and are collecting with global positioning systems (GPS), geospatial distress data and other geospatial data that can be used for inspection, evaluation, or management of airfield pavements. In addition, in surveys conducted by the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) Airport Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Committee, airports reported pavement management as the highest desired GIS application at an airport. However, simply adding a GIS graphical display of only the Pavement Condition Index is not an adequate solution to the problem. What is needed is an integrated system that can facilitate and support a comprehensive portfolio of functions for better managing airport pavements, including field collection of daily safety inspection runway mapped with GPS, coordinating maintenance scheduling for quick repair, tracking and predicting of pavement repairs and distress, and mapping of data taken from other pertinent tests such as core samples and deflection testing. Such an integrated system will provide not only an effective tool for managing the existing airport pavements, but also a badly needed feedback mechanism for better design of new pavements and rehabilitation strategies, as defined by Hudson and Hass, pioneers of pavement management systems, in their various publications. Furthermore, the FAA Technical Center, using the National Pavement Test Facility, is spending considerable research effort in order to develop better pavement thickness designs based upon mechanistic analysis programs that rely entirely on the modeling of pavement material properties. However, airports have no guidance and almost never collect and organize the material properties of the pavements, either as the pavements are constructed or as they are in service. With proper guidance, this data should and can be collected to become useful information with a geospatial data management system such as GIS. Airports have no equivalent to the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) Long Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) project that nationally monitored highway pavement performance over many years. Even if a small-scale airport program were started to monitor airport pavement performance over several years, guidance would have to be developed to collect the necessary data using GPS and GIS technology. The objective of this research is to develop a reliable geospatial data collection and management system for airport pavement inspection and evaluation and to provide guidance to airport operations and maintenance personnel for systematic inspection and management of airport pavements using geospatial data technologies.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $350000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 9-01

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591

    Transportation Research Board

    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Airport Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001
  • Project Managers:

    Hanna, Amir

  • Start Date: 20060600
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 11611

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01458466
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Airport Cooperative Research Program
  • Contract Numbers: Project 9-01
  • Files: RIP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 12:43PM