The National Academies

ACRP 02-64 [Final]

Guidance for Usage of Permeable Pavement at Airports

  Project Data
Funds: $200,000
Research Agency: Applied Pavement Technology, Inc.
Principal Investigator: Jim Bruinsma
Effective Date: 6/19/2015
Completion Date: 3/31/2017

ACRP Research Report 178: Guidance for Usage of Permeable Pavement at Airports provides airport practitioners withpractical guidance on the advantages and disadvantages of permeable pavement at a variety of types and sizes of airports.  The guidance includes potential installation locations such as airside and landside applications; environmental, operational, and economic considerations; and a decision matrix to examine applicability of installations.
Airports have vast areas that are currently covered by impervious pavement, which increases stormwater runoff and the heat island effect. This has a direct impact on stormwater management and the energy consumption of surrounding buildings.  Design and construction standards often consider the use of permeable pavement as an afterthought rather than a supplemental solution. Various options are available to incorporate permeable pavements to assist in controlling and directing stormwater runoff.
Traffic loads as well as safety and operational considerations at airports are unique. Evaluating the suitability of various types of pavement used has to carefully consider the traffic it will support. Permeable pavement can include all types of surface layers (asphalt, concrete, and pavers, etc.) as well as the base and subbase layers that would allow the movement of stormwater through the pavement section. While currently pervious pavement may not be permitted for runway or taxiway installations, there are other areas that could be considered.
The various options available to incorporate permeable pavements have been explored and presented to airport practitioners for consideration and potential implementation into construction projects requiring paved surfaces. The findings from the research suggest that permeable pavement is a viable stormwater management tool for airports, particularly those serving light aircraft, but additional design and performance data are needed. 
Under ACRP Project 02-64, research was conducted by Applied Pavement Technology, Inc. in association with VHB, Washington State University, and Lamar University. The research involved a nationwide survey of airports and practitioners to identify four implementation projects which were used to create case studies on the use of permeable pavement at airports. The case studies can be found at the summary web page for ACRP Research Report 178 at www.trb.org.

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