Pavement Design Considerations for Heavy Aircraft Loading at BAA Airports

by Robert Lane, BAA Technical Services Div, United Kingdom,
Graham Woodman, BAA Technical Services Div, United Kingdom,
Ernest J. Barenberg, BAA Technical Services Div, United Kingdom,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Airport Pavement Innovations—Theory to Practice


BAA operates seven airports in the United Kingdom. Two of them, Heathrow and Gatwick, handled 61 million passengers in 1991 with 543,000 air transport movements, 25% by wide-bodied aircraft. This paper describes research and development work carried out by BAA in the last three years to improve the performance of airfield pavements. The work included a review of existing rigid pavements. An analysis of future traffic and an assessment of relevant failure criteria for critical pavements was undertaken. The study identified a need for more onerous failure criteria and higher reliability than incorporated in previous design methods, to reduce maintenance requirements. Design methods for rigid and flexible pavements have been developed to provide these criteria with known levels of design reliability. Alternative aggregate types for rigid pavements have been considered and new construction methods tried.

Subject Headings: Airport and airfield pavements | Pavement design | Aircraft and spacecraft | Failure analysis | Load factors | Concrete pavements | Traffic analysis | Pavement condition | United Kingdom | Europe

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