Officials from the FAA’s William J. Hughes Technical Center, ACPA, and CP Tech Center met in Atlantic City this week to discuss ways the three organizations may work collaboratively on applied research for airfield concrete pavements.

“We appreciate the warm reception, tour, and generous amount of time we spent with Dr. Michel Hovan, FAA Airport Technology Manager and Jeff Gagnon, FAA Airport Pavement R&D Section Manager,” said ACPA President & CEO Jerry Voigt. “It gave us greater insights into some of the research the FAA is doing in the area of airside pavements.  The meeting also afforded ACPA and the CP Tech Center the opportunity to discuss research efforts with the FHWA and ACPA’s ongoing advocacy efforts, which have included specific airport pavement and highway pavement research programs.”

The meeting included an overview and discussion of current FAA research projects; CP Tech Center’s highway research & tech transfer efforts; and ACPA’s ongoing Federal advocacy efforts. 

“We discussed funding and how ACPA has worked with Federal agencies such as the FAA, FHWA, and Military Tri-Services, as well as elected officials in Washington, D.C.,” says Gary Mitchell, VP of Airports and Pavement Technology. “Our efforts include both highway and airport programmatic funding, but provisions that directly support funding for applied research.” This includes the long-standing AID-PT program, as well as a similar research provision included in the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 Sec. 744 (Research and deployment of certain airfield pavement technologies). 

Mitchell serves on the FAA’s Research, Engineering, & Development Advisory Committee (REDAC), Subcommittee on Airports, which supports the development of the FAA‘s research and development portfolio through strategic planning, budget formulation, program execution, and program evaluation. ACPA’s Chairman Mack, P.E., (CEMEX) has recently been nominated to serve on the Subcommittee as well and is waiting conformation from the current Administration.

“In the near term,” Mitchell explains, “We will continue the dialogue as we also continue to push for funding to support research for airfield concrete pavements.  Longer term, our goal is to partner with the CP Tech Center and work collaboratively on  applied research projects with the FAA.”

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Photo:  Top photo (L to R) shows Dr. Michel Hovan, Gary Mitchell, Jerry Voigt, Dr. Peter Taylor, Gordon Smith, Jim Mack, Leif Wathne, and Jeff Gagnon at the Hughes Technical Center. The photo below shows one of two accelerated load facilities at the FAA’s research center.  Mitchell explained the two ALF machines are capable of simulating wheel loads of virtually any fixed wing aircraft in the US fleet. The machine shown also allows testing under various climatic conditions.

*  The Accelerated Implementation and Deployment of Pavement Technologies (AID-PT) is a provision first included in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP 21).  This ACPA-led initiative created both a mechanism and funding for the delivery of pavement technology.  In 2015, Congress included the program in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which provides funding through 2020.

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