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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Guidelines for Collecting, Applying, and Maintaining Pavement Condition Data at Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25566.
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Page 1
Page 2
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Guidelines for Collecting, Applying, and Maintaining Pavement Condition Data at Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25566.
×
Page 2
Page 3
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Guidelines for Collecting, Applying, and Maintaining Pavement Condition Data at Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25566.
×
Page 3

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1 “Pavement condition data” are data that communicate various aspects of the performance of a pavement. Such data include conditions that are visually observed as well as those that are obtained by mechanical measurement or other means. Visually observed distresses on a pave- ment surface (such as cracking, rutting, patching, and spalling) are widely used and accepted as indicators of pavement performance The structural responses of a pavement, such as the deflection measurements obtained from testing with a falling weight deflectometer (FWD), fur- ther help to understand pavement performance. FWD data can also be used to assess the mate- rial properties and overall structural capacity of the pavement system and to provide inputs to generate technical pavement classification numbers (PCNs), which airports are required to report as a means of documenting the load-carrying capabilities of designated airfield facilities. Longitudinal profile characteristics can be evaluated in light of the operating aircraft to deter- mine whether profile changes are required for safe aircraft operations, while pavement surface friction provides an indication of whether aircraft can land and safely come to a stop. Although these data are all very different, they provide needed information about pavement performance to airport operators, engineers, planners, maintenance, operations, and airlines. In short, pavement condition data are essential inputs to the process of managing airport pave- ments and ensuring safe operations. The technology available today to collect pavement condition data is considerably different from that available even 20 years ago, and new technologies are being developed and introduced into practice at a rapid pace. New technologies have the ability to provide a multitude of ben- efits, including the following: • More rapid collection of data, • Collection of multiple types of data during a single activity, • Generation of more data and different types of data, • Increased data accuracy, and • Safer data collection operations, including in access-limited environments (e.g., single runway, 24-hour environments). However, there are drawbacks associated with new or improved pavement data collection tech- nologies. These technologies may come at higher costs, for example, which raises the question of whether the benefits are worth the expense. The rate of change in the development and implemen- tation of new technology may outpace the development of applicable standards and specifications, requiring consideration of whether the collected data are indeed what are needed to make decisions. Furthermore, not all of these benefits are associated with each new technology: faster collection does not by definition mean better data, and collecting more data does not mean that better deci- sions will result. Finally, some new technologies may not provide data to the same level of detail or resolution as more traditional methodologies. For data that are analyzed in time series, such as C H A P T E R 1 Introduction

2 Guidelines for Collecting, Applying, and Maintaining Pavement Condition Data at Airports pavement conditions, adopting new technologies may lead to incompatibilities between new and older data sets, which make it difficult to perform such analyses. Considering the potential benefits of applying new airport pavement condition data technologies and the associated drawbacks, there is clearly a need for guidance on the collection, use, mainte- nance, and application of pavement condition data at airports. To address this need, ACRP initi- ated Project 09-17,”Collecting, Applying, and Maintaining Pavement Condition Data at Airports.” The primary purpose of this project is to develop guidelines for airports that identify evidence-based best practices in collecting and using airfield pavement condition data. The primary deliverable from the study is this report, ACRP Research Report 203, which is intended to describe best practices for the collection, use, maintenance, and application of airport pavement condition data. The primary audience for this report is those involved in the collection, use, maintenance, and application of pavement condition data at airports, which includes both airport staff and their consultants. The responsibilities of this audience may include pavement design, engineer- ing, maintenance, planning, development of capital programs, budget development, and other aspects of airport management. Furthermore, the focus is on airport pavement data collection at FAA Part 139 airports, at National Plan of Integrated Airport System (NPIAS) general aviation (GA) airports complying with FAA Grant Assurances that are not Part 139 airports, and at state aeronautics departments engaged in managing or providing funding for multiple airports within the state. While this report will be of interest to others, it was largely developed based on input from this target audience described above. Beyond the requirements for regulatory compliance, an agency’s pavement condition data collection needs should be driven by how it intends to use the data. As such, the purpose of this report is not to provide instruction on how pavement data should be collected, used, and managed, but rather to describe possible procedures related to pavement data that will allow the implementation of a pavement data system that fits the needs of the user. This content was developed from many different sources. A wide-ranging literature search was carried out, focusing on publications on the topic of airport pavement condition data, but by necessity extended to the application of pavement condition data on roadways, where many of the new technologies are being developed and trialed. Surveys were also prepared and distrib- uted to consultants, airports, and state aviation departments; survey responses led to follow-up phone interviews with selected responding airport representatives. A key part of the background study leading to this report was the development of case studies of seven airports or airport agencies on their experiences with pavement data collection, use, and management. The practices of each agency are varied, which allowed for best practices to be identified for each type of airport. These seven organizations are listed as follows, and the case studies are provided in Appendix B, available for download from the TRB website (trb.org) by searching for “ACRP Research Report 203”: • Houston Airport System (Houston, Texas), • Salt Lake City Department of Airports (Salt Lake City, Utah), • Dublin International (Dublin, Ireland), • Columbus Regional Port Authority (Columbus, Ohio), • Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority (Grand Rapids, Michigan), • North Dakota (statewide), and • Missouri (statewide). In addition to this chapter, this report includes the following sections: • Chapter 2: Importance of Pavement Condition Data in Managing Pavements; • Chapter 3: Condition Data Types and Collection Methods;

Introduction 3 • Chapter 4: Uses of Pavement Condition Data; • Chapter 5: Shared Uses and Presentation of Condition Data; • Chapter 6: Data Storage, Maintenance, and Access; • Chapter 7: Data Collection Guidelines; • Chapter 8: Next Generation Data Collection; • Appendix A: Decision Tree Example; and • Appendix B: Case Studies. To many, the primary content of this report will be found in Chapter 7 on data collection guidelines. Those guidelines are a resource to those who wish to align their airport’s character- istics and needs with appropriate means of collecting pavement condition data. However, this document also includes background content on the importance of pavement condition data (Chapter 2), different types of data collection (Chapter 3), uses of pavement condition data (Chapter 4), presentation of the data (Chapter 5), and data maintenance (Chapter 6). The final chapter, Chapter 8, discusses new and evolving data collection technologies. Several of these technologies have been tried, and some are already in use at airports. Chapter 8 provides a glimpse into the probable future of pavement condition data collection at airports.

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“Pavement condition data” are essential inputs to the process of managing airport pavements and ensuring safe operations. The technology available today to collect pavement condition data is considerably different from that available even 20 years ago, and new technologies are being developed and introduced into practice at a rapid pace.

ACRP Research Report 203: Guidelines for Collecting, Applying, and Maintaining Pavement Condition Data at Airports provides guidance on the collection, use, maintenance, and application of pavement condition data at airports. Such data include conditions that are visually observed as well as those that are obtained by mechanical measurement or other means. Visually observed distresses on a pavement surface (such as cracking, rutting, patching, and spalling) are widely used and accepted as indicators of pavement performance.

A key part of the background study leading to this report was the development of case studies of seven airports or airport agencies on their experiences with pavement data collection, use, and management. They include: Houston Airport System (Houston, Texas), Salt Lake City Department of Airports (Salt Lake City, Utah), Dublin International (Dublin, Ireland), Columbus Regional Port Authority (Columbus, Ohio), Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority (Grand Rapids, Michigan), North Dakota (statewide), and Missouri (statewide).

Additional Resources:

  • An Appendix with case studies of airports and agencies based on responses to the project survey, the experience of the project team, and input from the ACRP project panel.
  • This presentation template is based on the content of ACRP Research Report 203. It provides information on airport pavement condition data collection, use, and storage that can be customized by a presenter to cover a subset of the overall ACRP report.
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