Volume 43, Number 7
July 20, 2007

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... Airports Issue ... ...



Industry Provides Solutions to Help
Airports Keep Pace with Growth
...   As passenger and cargo loadings continue to increase year over year, airport owners, managers, and consultants have their hands full keeping pace with that growth.

Compounding the challenge is the startling statistic that in the first five months of 2007, more than one quarter of all flights within the United States arrived at least 15 minutes late, according to the NEW YORK TIMES. And that doesn't take into account all the time delayed passengers spend in airports and hotels waiting, the report says.

 Managing growth presents its fair share of challenges, and so, the concrete pavement industry's view is that pavement selection should should not present its own share of headaches. This is why the concrete pavement industry offers a wide range of solutions to help owners and consultants solve challenges that will allow their facilities to keep pace with growth and with the increasing demands placed by larger planes and increasingly higher passenger and cargo loadings.

For more information about concrete pavements for airport applications, contact Gary Mitchell, P.E., ACPA's Director of Airports, at 704-948-8988.

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House Advances Aviation Reauthorization
... ...The U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee last week cleared its version of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization legislation.

The bill calls for $66 billion to fund aviation operations for fiscal years 2008 through 2011, according to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
As it stands now, the bill includes a number of provisions of interest to the industry, according to Gary Mitchell, P.E., ACPA's Director of Airports.
Of special note are the following:

• The bill maintains the current financing structure for the federal aviation programs.
It does not include a proposal by the FAA to shift the cost of programs from the current ticket tax to a user-based fee on airlines and general aviation.

• The legislation recommends a 41% increase in the federal excise tax on general aviation jet fuel, from 21.8 cents per gallon to 30.7 cents. The bill also advises a 25% increase on the general aviation fuel tax, from 19.3 cents to 24.1 cents.

The bill would authorize $15.8 billion as part of the $66 billion four-year bill for Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grants ($3.8 billion in FY 08; $3.9 billion in FY 2009; $4.0 billion in FY 2010; and $4.1 billion in FY 2011).

"This is good news for airport pavement projects," Mitchell said. The AIP funds construction projects for airports, and this figure represents a higher level of funding than the Federal Aviation Administration recommended," Mitchell said.

• The reauthorization calls for increasing the passenger facility charges (PFC) from the current $4.50 to $7. "This increase could make up for some of the escalation of construction costs, as well as could provide additional funding for large projects," Mitchell said.

• The bill also would provide $13 billion for FAA facilities and equipment programs.

Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.) had pledged to move the legislation through Committee before the July 4th holiday recess for U.S. Congress. To do this, lawmakers bypassed a markup in the House Aviation Subcommittee, chaired by U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Ill.).

For more information, contact Gary Mitchell at 704-948-8988.


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Super Jets Make Commercial Debut
... ...

If ever there were a case for using concrete pavements, it would be the latest trend in aircraft: super-sized jets that weigh millions of pounds and carry hundreds of passengers.

The massive Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft series was introduced Sunday, representing the latest in the growing trend of super jets.

Boeing also promises the airline will be more fuel efficient than the average airplane.

  Landing on a Runway Near You ... Boeing unveiled the Dreamliner super jet series last week. (Photo: Boeing)  
Boeing also promises the airline will be more fuel
  efficient than the average airplane. The aircraft is the world ’s first mostly composite commercial airplane and is projected to use 20% less fuel per passenger than similarly sized airplanes, produce fewer carbon emissions, and have quieter takeoffs and landings, according to a Boeing press release.

The Dreamliner comes shortly after the introduction of the Airbus A380 into the market. To date, 47 customers worldwide have ordered 677 Dreamliner airplanes, worth more than $110 billion at current list prices, according to Boeing.

Of particular interest to ACPA members is that both super jets represent not only the trend toward higher passenger and cargo loadings, but also a tremendous opportunity for concrete pavements, which are best suited for airfields designed to handle these massive aircraft.


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New Report Offers Facts About Airfield Pavement Smoothness

A research report published by the Innovative Pavement Research Foundation (IPRF) recommends the best devices for measuring airfield pavement smoothness, while also offering tips to improve constructability.

"Airfield Concrete Pavement Smoothness—A Handbook" (IPRF-01-G-002-02-4) includes findings from a five-year research project aimed at smoothness measurement, with an emphasis on repeatability measurements from different types of profilers. The report also emphasizes the fundamental differences in airfield smoothness as compared to highway/roadway smoothness, a key consideration for designers and contractors.


Approximately 90% of the report covers measurement capabilities of different profilers, while the balance covers constructability in its appendices.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Advisory Circular (AC 150/5370-10B), Standards for Specification Construction of Airports, requires the use of a 16-foot straightedge for assessing smoothness of new airport concrete pavement.

When the 16-ft. straightedge requirement is met (and when grade-control requirements are met), the result is a smooth airfield pavement.
But the straightedge method is labor-intensive and has led engineers to search for alternative means. Many engineers, for example, use the California Profilograph (designed for highways and roadways).

Defining Smoothness for Airfields
"Fundamentally, the qualities of smoothness for aircraft and airfields are different than for motor vehicles and highways," said Gary Mitchell, P.E., ACPA’s Director of Airports.
For aircraft, it is critical to take into account three types of smoothness:

1. Shock — defined by a sharp change in elevation. Aircraft suspension systems cannot react fast enough absorb the energy set off by increases in shock.
2. Short wavelengths — defined by bumps in short intervals, which can be absorbed by aircraft suspension systems. For example, an aircraft suspension can react to a 1/4-inch bump in 16-feet.
3. Long wavelengths — deviations from grade control or interaction with an intersecting runway crown, that have a profound effect on aircraft response as a whole.

The FAA criterion for the 16-ft. straightedge does not account for all the above types of smoothness, such as the non-linear effects of multiple short wavelength bumps at regular intervals, long wavelengths effects or for aircraft velocity. Also, the indices for automated methods of measuring airfield smoothness do not match up with the measurements captured by the straightedge.

Defining Smoothness for Airfields
The IPRF research identified a number of devices that can help measure pavement profiles and ensure smoothness, including:

  • 16-ft. straightedge
  • California profilograph
  • Lightweight profilers
  • Wet/Dry profilers
  • Contact profilers

The IPRF study took an in-depth look at the accuracies of the methods of measuring smoothness. Each method was compared to the physical straightedge. It is important to note that no relationship exists between the indices of some profilers, such as the International Roughness Index (IRI) and Ride Number (RN) to the straightedge measurements.

Based on the report's findings, ACPA advises against using profilographs to measure airfield smoothness when highway criteria have been adopted because of the much more stringent requirements for highway construction, Mitchell said. This is because vehicle motorists directly feel smoothness. In contrast, it is more important to calculate smoothness in relation to its effects on an aircraft’s suspension system, and thus its ability to permit safe departures and landings.

Profilographs do not consider the amplification of attenuating wavelengths. They also do not emulate the 16-ft. straightedge, and therefore cannot reflect smoothness set by the FAA's P-501 criteria.

What should you specify?

ACPA advises emphasizing grade control while adhering to P-501 criteria for 16-foot straightedge specification requirements. Keeping the specification and profile measurement process as simple as possible, with attention to quality, will produce smooth airfield pavements that include enough surface texture for the friction necessary for both smooth and safer aircraft landings.

For more details, click here (and then scroll down to 2002 project reports) to view a full copy of the report and its appendices.

For more resources on concrete pavement airfield design, construction, or rehabilitation, click here to check out ACPA's bookstore, which includes literature and software. Questions? Contact Gary Mitchell at 704-948-8988.


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Taking the Guesswork Out of Airfield Thickness Design

For engineers looking to construct durable concrete pavement airfield that will last under specific conditions, ACPA's AirPave design software provides a solution.
With this tool, users:

1. Input specific characteristics about the pavement to be constructed, including a thickness value;

2. Choose from a list of more than 25 popular aircraft with more than 59 configurations, including the A300, B777, and military aircraft. (Users also can customize configurations for any vehicle that will travel on the pavement, such as forklifts, cranes, straddle carriers, tracked vehicles, trucks, and non-standard aircraft.)

3. Click for a report that calculates fatigue life and stress ratios for pavements bearing loads.

Click here to visit ACPA's bookstore to order a copy of ACPA's AirPave 2000 (MC00601P). This and other literature is available at www.pavement.com.

Alternatively, call 1-800-868-6733 or fax orders to 847-966-9666.  ACPA members, be sure to visit the “members only” area of the website for discounted rates.


Update on the Way
In related news, ACPA is currently finalizing an updated version of AirPave. The new version will provide a number of additional tools for engineers, including:

• An interface that allows engineers to set the desired stress ratio to answer the question: how thick does the pavement need to be?

• Settings that allow users to save customized vehicle configurations so that they may be edited to reflect changes

• Options allow users to determine pavement fatigue life based on a fleet of aircraft and vehicles within one report, rather than running a report for each particular aircraft.

• Options enable users to determine fatigue life of a pavement based on a multi-aircraft or vehicle fleet, rather than just for one craft.

For more information about AirPave design software, contact Gary Mitchell at 704-948-8988.


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ACPA Concrete Pavement Progress is published 12 times per year and covers current practices and case histories in the concrete pavement industry. ACPA Concrete Pavement Progress is distributed free of charge to public officials, ACPA members, executive committee, board of directors, and affiliated chapter/state paving associations.

All rights reserved. Copyright 2007 by the American Concrete Pavement Association. No portion of this publication may be reproduced mechanically or electronically without the expressed written permission of the American Concrete Pavement Association.

American Concrete Pavement Association
5420 Old Orchard Road, Suite A100
Skokie, IL 60077
Phone: 847-966-2272. Fax: 847-966-9970

(Washington) 500 New Jersey Ave., NW
7th Floor
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-638-ACPA (202-638-2272)

(Mesa, AZ) 807 W. Keating Ave.
Mesa, AZ 85210
Phone: 480-775-0908

2007 Chairman, ACPA Board of Directors
Pat Nolan, Interstate Highway Const., Inc. (IHC)

2007 Vice-Chairman, ACPA Board of Directors
Kari Saragusa, Lehigh Cement Co.

ACPA President/CEO - Gerald F. Voigt, P.E.
Editor - Bill Davenport
Managing Editor - Erin McKnight

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Visit our public website at www.pavements4life.com