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37 CHAPTER EIGHT OPERATION, SUSTAINABILITY, AND ENHANCEMENT More than 80% of airport agencies surveyed already operate Documentation of the APMS process. A user manual or are developing an APMS. The average age of the existing documents the APMS process. Documentation ensures APMS for those airports responding to the questionnaire was sustainability and continuity of operation during un- approximately 9 years. The challenge for most of the agen- expected staff changes and facilitates the transfer of cies is not to establish an APMS, but to sustain and enhance responsibilities between staff members and/or between its operation. The focus of this chapter is on sustainability consultants. Based on the survey, 20% of all APMSs are and enhancements of APMS operations rather than on pro- operated primarily by outside staff, and 48% of these sys- cedures for establishing APMS. tems are operated jointly by in-house and outside staff (see Figure 22). Meeting user needs. Universal user needs are moni- AIRPORT PAVEMENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS tored and include user-friendly software and the provi- OPERATION AND SUSTAINABILITY sion for sharing of data and results. Permanent APMS committee. Operation of a perma- The existing APMS operations and the sustainability of the nent APMS committee, with representation from all APMS are closely linked; a successful operation of the system user groups, can be instrumental in the sustainability and is one of the best guarantees of its sustainability. Long-term enhancement of the system (Broten and Wade 2004). One sustainability of the APMS is an on-going process that should of the tasks of the committee is to monitor user needs. be considered during the initial implementation (Broten and Ongoing improvements. The monitoring of user needs Wade 2004). The following factors contribute to the success- and follow-up to implement improvements enhances ful operation and sustainability of the APMS: the system over time. Recent enhancements of APMS developed to meet user needs discovered during proac- Long-term commitment. Long-term commitment to tive monitoring include: the operation of the APMS and adequate financial sup- Graphical presentation and mapping of data and port by the decision makers are essential. Benefits results using computer-assisted drafting and GIS, obtained from the APMS increase with the length of Automating pavement condition surveys and using time the system is in operation. For example, it takes digital images to document pavement distresses, several years of pavement condition monitoring to ascer- Improving the linkage between an APMS and the tain which pavement M&R treatments work best on the preparation of CIPs, local level, and to establish pavement deterioration rates. Incorporating preventive pavement maintenance An acceptance of the APMS across the organization programs, also requires time. Addition of pavement structural analysis to APMS Data integrity and timeliness. The APMS database is software, and. the source for obtaining pavement-related data. Current Providing access to APMS database and software and objective pavement condition data are catalogued through the Internet. here for the preparation and updating of CIPs. Providing training. Initial APMS implementation Periodic reporting. The manager of an APMS typi- includes staff training. However, staff training, together cally provides periodic reports to decision makers on with succession planning is part of the ongoing opera- the condition of airport pavements and on the antici- tions. Training, including proficiency testing, is partic- pated pavement preservation needs. Different versions ularly critical for personnel who carry out periodic PCI of the reports, with different levels of detail and presen- surveys. tation styles, may be desirable for each audience. In addition to periodic reporting, special reports address- SYSTEM ENHANCEMENT ing pavement-related issues such as experience with new M&R treatments are developed and made avail- In addition to ongoing system enhancements there are situa- able. Regular reporting is essential for documenting the tions where a structured comprehensive review of the APMS benefits of operating an APMS. operation is beneficial for improving the current practice and

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38 ensuring sustainability. The objectives of the review are tionnaire, interviews with the stakeholders, and a technical twofold: review. Smith at al. (2004) used gap analysis to carry out a number of structured reviews of pavement and highway man- 1. To determine enhancements based on identified user agement systems in several countries. The systematic review needs. of APMS operations is less common than the reviews of road- 2. To determine enhancements that may be beneficial way PMS; however, its potential to improve the operations, based on the best appropriate practice (BAP). The BAP introduce needed changes, and sustain the operation is similar is the desired state of practice that meets the particular to the roadway PMS. agency's needs in the most appropriate and efficient way. Another method that can help airports to improve their pavement management practices is benchmarking. Bench- The common methodology used for the systematic assess- marking is similar to gap analysis in the sense that it provides ment of the APMS is the gap analysis. As the name suggests a method for agencies to move from an internal focus to an the analysis is concerned with identifying the difference external focus in the search for best management practices. between the existing management process and the future However, as the name suggests, benchmarking seeks to com- desirable process defined as the BAP. The gap analysis con- pare the operation of different organizations using objective, sists of three basic steps: agreed-upon measures. In the airport context, the bench- 1. Assessment of the existing APMS activities against marking measures include outcomes (e.g., average PCI for the BAP. runways) and recourses (e.g., annualized pavement preserva- 2. Identification of activities where the agency has already tion cost per square yard of pavements). A primer and a guide achieved the BAP. on benchmarking for highway maintenance were developed 3. Identification of activities and an implementation guide by Booz Allen Hamilton (2003). The application of bench- to improvements to reach the BAP. marking as the means to improve airport pavement mainte- nance practices can be used as part of the gap analysis. In the The APMS activities that are the subject of the gap analy- context of airport pavement management, the information on sis can encompass all the main areas of a PMS shown in as Fig- the use of gap analysis and benchmarking is lacking. ure 3 or they may focus on specific "weak" areas of the APMS operation. Formal reviews of PMS operation for highway net- It is expected that the new FAA APMS software, works, done by either an outside agency or in-house, are quite AIRPAVE, now under development, will enhance APMS common. For example, Zimmerman (2004) developed a self- technology in two significant ways: (1) it will make the PMS assessment tool that helps highway agency personnel to sys- data readily available to users through the Internet, and (2) tematically evaluate PMS operations and identify areas for it will be a linchpin linking all main FAA pavement soft- improvement. The process includes a self-assessment ques- ware applications.