Runway Roughness Measurement, Quantification and Application: The Boeing Approach

by Edward L. Gervais, Boeing Commercial Airplane Group, Seattle, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Aircraft/Pavement Interaction: An Integrated System


The measurement of runway roughness and the determination of the severity of runway roughness have long been the subject of nebulous discussion and esoteric description. By considering the direct effect on aircraft structure, Boeing has developed a discrete surface deviation evaluation method that considers the shape of the runway surface, as measured by a close interval elevation survey. The survey results are plotted on a scale that exaggerates the vertical deviations, and the discrete bumps are compared to a criteria developed by Boeing for jet transport aircraft. The criteria can be used to initiate repair or to alert maintenance activity at specific runway locations, depending on the severity of surface roughness. The criteria can also be used to provide temporary ramp dimensions for nighttime or off-peak-hour paving with asphaltic materials. Runway repair or rehabilitation normally employs temporary ramping at the end of each work period. The ramping, provided to allow daily aircraft movements, should be designed so as to minimize wasted paving materials, yet at the same time provide acceptable roughness for aircraft operating on the partially rehabilitated runway surface. The Boeing roughness criteria can be used to provide appropriate temporary ramp dimensions for use in offpeak design.

Subject Headings: Airport and airfield pavements | Pavement surface roughness | Aircraft and spacecraft | Ramps (road) | Pavement design | Hydraulic roughness | Rehabilitation | Structural design

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