ACN-PCN Concepts for Airport Pavement Management

by Don R. Alexander, US Army Engineer Waterways, Experiment Station, Vicksburg, United States,
Jim W. Hall, Jr., US Army Engineer Waterways, Experiment Station, Vicksburg, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Aircraft/Pavement Interaction: An Integrated System


The aircraft classification number-pavement classification number (ACN-PCN) method is the standardized International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) method for reporting airport pavement strength. With this system, both the structural effect of an aircraft and the load-carrying capacity of the pavement are expressed in terms of a standard single-wheel load. The PCN is determined from the allowable load rating of the pavement and should take into account such factors as frequency of operations and allowable stress or strain levels. The management of airport operations is greatly simplified by the fact that the effects of various gear configurations on a pavement can be compared directly in terms of the standard single-wheel load. The PCN is based on some desired life (in annual departures), thus, operating an aircraft with an ACN larger than the pavement's PCN will shorten the life expectancy of the pavement. ICAO provides only very general guidance on overload operations. This paper describes how the ACN-PCN concepts can be used to develop relationships for estimating the pavement life used by an aircraft. Examples are provided illustrating the use of the new procedures for airport pavement management applications such as overload considerations and landing fee assessments.

Subject Headings: Airport and airfield pavements | Management methods | Pavements | Pavement design | Aircraft and spacecraft | Load bearing capacity | Load factors | Launching and landing

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