FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 150/5380-9 “provides guidelines and procedures for measuring and evaluating runway roughness as identified by surface profile data of rigid and flexible airport pavements. The guidance in this AC provides technical procedures to quantify surface irregularities and to determine how surface irregularities may affect specific categories of airplanes.”
The AC was a first step towards defining and implementing basic pavement roughness criteria for airfield pavements. The criteria presented in this early version was for single-event bump roughness. It was recognized that there was a technical need to address harmonics or multiple-bump event roughness.
The research results contained in the report are in response to that technical need. A method has been developed that locates and quantifies multiple-event roughness using measured profile data only. The method works for taxiways as well as runways. In addition, a “screening” process was developed to quickly categorize pavements as acceptable, excessive, or unacceptable. Excessive or unacceptable pavement sections can then be evaluated for potential corrective action.