The National Academies

ACRP Synthesis 11-03/Topic S07-05 [Active (Synthesis)]

Airfield Vehicle Service Road Design and Operations
[ ACRP 11-03 (Synthesis of Information Related to Airport Practices) ]

  Project Data
Staff Responsibility: Jordan Christensen
Research Agency: Ricondo & Associates
Principal Investigator: Mark Richter
Fiscal Year: 2023


The FAA provides design standards on pavement markings for airport vehicle service roads (VSR), however there is no guidance for developing the layouts of these road systems. Due to the lack of available resources, airport VSR systems are generally left up to the airports for design. Design standards, such as critical object offset, structure offset, and radii dimensions, may vary by terminal size or layout, the level of aircraft activity, and the intended operational use. However, other considerations such as the weight of the vehicles that will use the road, the speed at which the vehicles will operate, etc. should also be considered. A synthesis of practices that documents airport VSR plans and design is needed.

The objective of this synthesis is to describe planning, design, and operations for airfield Vehicles Service Road systems. The audience for this synthesis is airport planners, engineers, and operations staff.

Information to be described in a concise report includes (but is not limited to):
•    Describe the guidance used in the planning and design creation of the VSR, to include the operations on apron, non-movement, and movement areas.
•    Describe how the VSR is maintained (ex. preventative maintenance, asset management, etc.)
•    Describe driver’s training and the personnel utilizing the VSR.
•    Describe typical equipment (weight and geometry) utilizing the VSR. 
•    Document typical ground support equipment (GSE) maneuvering operations and traffic flow operations. 
•    Describe safety concerns and operational challenges (ex. capacity, high incident locations, unconventional intersections, etc.) of VSR layouts. 
•    Provide unique and diverse case examples in the VSR environment.

Information will be collected through literature review, a survey of airports, and interviews with selected airports for the development of case examples. Knowledge gaps and suggestions for future research to address those gaps will also be identified.

Partial Information Sources
ACRP Report 96, Apron Planning and Design Guidebook, 2013. https://www.trb.org/ACRP/Blurbs/169964.aspx 

Advisory Circular 150/53000-13A, Airport Design https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/150-5300-13A-chg1-interactive-201907.pdf 

Advisory Circular 150/5340-1M, Standards for Airport Markings https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/150-5340-1M-Chg-1-Airport-Markings.pdf 

Advisory Circular 150/5320-6G, Airport Pavement Design and Evaluation https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/150-5320-6G-Pavement-Design.pdf 

FAA Guide to Ground Vehicle Operations, https://www.faa.gov/airports/runway_safety/media/ground_vehicle_guide_proof_final.pdf 

TRB Staff
Jordan Christensen
Email: jchristensen@nas.edu

Meeting Dates
First Panel: August 10, 2023
Teleconference with Consultant: October 25, 2023
Second Panel Meeting: May 7, 2024

Topic Panel
Scott M. Ayers, City of Atlanta Department of Aviation
Sheldon Daisley, Houston Airport System
William Dungo, VHB
Jen Moore, Boise Airport
Dan Wilson, FAA Liaison 

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