National Airport Pavement & Materials Research Center

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 test facilities have offered unparalleled aircraft loading simulation since NAPTF became operational in 1999. Paving structures are tested until failure with repeated, realistic aircraft loads in order to establish design standards for our nation’s airport pavements.


In September 2015, ATR expanded its full scale accelerated testing capabilities with the addition of the 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), acquired in November 2013. NAPMRC is a unique research facility that allows engineers to investigate the performance of asphalt and other pavement materials 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. There are four outdoor and two indoor test lanes.


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 materials testing.


Accelerated pavement tests at NAPMRC will help in developing FAA standards and specifications for more durable, economical, and environment-friendly pavement materials that are proven to withstand the effects of both aircraft loads and environmental conditions and reduce the carbon footprint of airport pavement infrastructure.