Airfield pavements must support extreme and ever-increasing loads under all weather conditions, and the FAA is hard at work ensuring that our nation’s pavement materials stand up to these demands.
The FAA’s pavement testing facilities have offered unparalleled aircraft simulation since their inception in 1999. Paving materials are tested until failure with repeated, realistic aircraft loads in order to establish standards for our nation’s airport pavements.
In 2013, ATR expanded its full scale accelerated testing capabilities with the addition of the outdoor National Airport Pavement and Materials Research Center (NAPMRC). NAPMRC complements the work done inside ATR’s National Airport Pavement Test Facility (NAPTF) with a state-of-the-art Heavy Vehicle Simulator, Airfields Mark VI (HVS-A). NAPMRC is a unique research facility that allows engineers to investigate the performance of asphalt and other pavement materials outside, at very high tire pressures and aircraft wheel loads. HVS-A’s automated heating system allows it to replicate the high temperatures pavements face in summer, even during wintertime.
The research performed at NAPMRC will support the integration of advanced pavement materials at airfields. New-to-airport technologies like Warm Mix Asphalt (WMA), Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP), and Stone Matrix Asphalt (SMA) are under consideration as the FAA completes airport pavement testing.
This outdoor accelerated pavement testing will produce improved pavement design and standards for more durable, economical, and environmentally-friendly pavements that are proven to withstand the effects of both aircraft loads and environmental conditions.
Contact Project Lead Dr. Navneet Garg