French Procedures for Airfield Pavement Load Evaluation

by Didier Lacroix, Ingenieur des Ponts et Chaussees; Service Technique des Bases Aeriennes, Paris, France,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1978, Vol. 104, Issue 5, Pg. 559-574

Document Type: Journal Paper


In order to meet the growing needs for evaluation of existing pavement bearing strengths, a French Administration Department has developed a methodology that essentially includes the utilization of heavy autonomous equipment for plate bearing tests. Two different nondestructive testing methods for flexible and rigid pavements provide the allowable load for a single-wheel landing gear. However, the evaluation of allowable loads for dual or dual tandem landing gears still requires knowledge of the pavement layer and subgrade characteristics generally obtained by means of a few borings. For a complete test program, the plate bearing tests generally take place after a continuous road-type testing aimed at determining the pavement homogeneity. A coordinated surveying policy has been implemented on numerous French aerodromes in order to gather up-to-date records and study the pavement behavior evolution which makes it possible to program the important maintenance characteristics. The evaluated bearing strength is indicated in the AIP aerodrome charts by the allowable loads for three standard landing gears.

Subject Headings: Airport and airfield pavements | Load tests | Load factors | Plates | Equipment and machinery | Nondestructive tests | Asphalt pavements | Concrete pavements

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