Airport Pavement Roughness Criteria


The objective of this research project is to develop practical procedures for measuring and characterizing the roughness of runways and taxiways. An essential part of this effort is the definition of a profile index that characterizes the level of roughness encountered by aircraft using the airport pavements. Key tasks that have already been completed include: development of profiling equipment; field measurements of runway profiles at airports; data reduction and profile identification; computer simulations and development of index computational procedures.



  • Convert Profile Format Profile data file conversion program (zip). README (txt)

    Performs the same function as MakeSplineFit (see below) but includes more options and file formats. A batch mode was added on March 1, 2011.

  • Airport Pavement Roughness with Nighttime Construction (Doc)

    Gordon F. Hayhoe, Mingyao Dong, Roy D. McQueen

    Surface elevation profiles were measured before and after overlay operations on runways at two commercial airports in the eastern USA. Both airports had only the one runway. All of the overlaying was done at night, with the airports opened for normal operations during the day. The profiles were measured with an inertial profiler having software compensation for accelerometer errors. Pavement surface elevations measured with normal surveying rod and level equipment are compared with the profiler elevation measurements for one of the runways. Correspondence between the two is good. The profiles were processed to provide measures of roughness from simulations of a straightedge, a California Profilograph, and the Boeing Bump Criteria. Change in roughness due to the maintenance operations is quantified and discussed with respect to minimums.

  • ProFAA Installation Files,(Zip)   List of changes (Doc)

    "ProFAA" is the Federal Aviation Administration's computer program for computing pavement elevation profile roughness indexes. Data analysis performed by the program includes the simulation of the following devices or procedure and the calculation of, Straight Edge, Boeing Bump, International Roughness Index (IRI), California Profilograph (PI), and RMS Bandpass Indexes.

  • ProFAA User's Manual (Doc)

  • Parameters and Word File of Indexes Computation for ProFAA (Doc)

    Three samples profiles for use with ProFAA. The pavements are very smooth, intermediate, and very rough.

    Regional Light
    Regional Heavy

  • Computation of Profile Index from CA Profilograph Model for ProFAA (Doc)

  •  MakeSplineFit Profile Data File Conversion Program (Zip)

    A program which reads straight ASCII text files and writes properly formatted *.pro files for input to "ProFAA". The sample spacing can be changed and the elevation values can be scaled in the program interface. The output file has the same name as the input file except that the extension is changed from .txt to .pro. The output file is put in the same directory as the input file was read from.

    The input elevations are fit with cubic splines (continuous elevation and slope at the sample points) and the output elevations are interpolated.
  • AC 150/5380-9 "Guidelines and Procedures for Measuring Airport Pavement Roughness."

    Advisory circular containing descriptions of the use of the ProFAA and ConvertProfileFormat programs. Also describes the computation of the Boeing Bump Index using ProFAA.



ASTM E-17 Mini-Seminar on Airport Pavement Roughness Issues: Current Status

Presentations (Microsoft Powerpoint files):

Contact Project Lead: Albert Larkin

Last Update: 02/12/2013