Washington state launches study on airport pavement

OLYMPIA, Wash. – A new study is evaluating the current condition and preservation needs of Washington’s airport pavements. The 2012 Washington Airport Pavement Management Study will examine pavements at 95 public-use airports to determine their current condition and reduce future repair costs.

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) invests in aviation infrastructure improvements — with an emphasis on pavement projects — at the state’s public-use airport through its Airport Aid Grant Program.

Officials say evaluating airport pavement is important because:

  • Pavement condition is a critical measure of airport performance and important both for aviation safety and maintenance cost.
  • Maintenance and preservation of runway, taxiway and apron pavements represent one of the largest capital investments in the aviation system.
  • Regular pavement maintenance can prevent much more costly repairs from unaddressed deterioration.
  • Pavement condition plays a critical role in aviation safety. High-speed aircraft takeoffs and landings leave under-maintained pavement vulnerable to cracks, loose debris and weakness, which compromise safety.

The study’s results will serve as a tool for identifying airport pavement needs, shape programming decisions for federal and state funding, inform legislative decision making and assist airport managers in making informed planning choices, according to state officials. The study will also identify necessary maintenance, repair, rehabilitation and reconstruction projects.

WSDOT’s aviation division conducts pavement studies every five years funded primarily through federal grants.

Learn more about the Washington Airport Pavement Management Study here.

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