25 May 2005
General. The information in this document is in brief format. A more
detailed discussion of airfield pavements can be found in these references:
UFC 3-250-04FA, Standard Practice for Concrete Pavements
UFC 3-250-03, Standard Practice Manual for Flexible Pavements
UFC 3-260-01, Airfield and Heliport Planning and Design
UFC 3-260-02, Pavement Design for Airfields
UFC 3-260-03, Airfield Pavement Evaluation
ETL 01-9, Procedures to Retard Reflective Cracking
Airfield Pavements Procedures and Requirements. UFC 3-260-02 and
the other references contain design procedures and requirements for numerous types of
rigid and flexible pavements. The objective of pavement design and material selection is
to provide airfield pavements that:
Are structurally adequate to support heavy aircraft loads and traffic
Provide good service over the design life or longer.
Are resistant to foreign object damage (FOD) over their service life.
Have cost effective materials that are commonly used in the
construction industry--in both initial construction and maintenance
Over the years, the performance of some pavement types did not meet these
objectives. This led to the development of criteria for the use of the various types of
pavements on airfields. UFC 3-260-02 includes limitations for the use of some
pavements and identifies preferred pavements. The criteria for use of pavements and
overlays on airfields are discussed herein.
Pavement Types. There are two general types of pavements, rigid and
flexible. A rigid pavement is any pavement that contains Portland cement concrete as
one element. Flexible pavements are so designated due to their flexibility under load
and their ability to withstand small deformations. There are a number of variations of
each type of pavement, which are described briefly in paragraphs 3-6.4 and 3-6.5.
The references in paragraph 3-6.1 include design procedures for various
pavements and pavement overlays, including the preferred type of pavement
recommended for various applications. The criteria for the use of different pavements
are discussed in paragraphs 3-6.6, 3-6.7 and 3-6.9. The most often used pavement