ACPA’s most recent “3 Minutes on Monday” focuses on a “red letter day” and some very big news.

Jerry Voigt presented an overview of a new cooperative agreement between the FAA and the concrete pavement industry. With the news unveiled earlier this week, we now present additional details.

The agreement calls for $3.5 million for the concrete and asphalt industry, says Gary Mitchell.  The agreement initially is for one year but would be extended for as long as it takes to conduct various research projects.

The program resembles the previous Airport Pavement Technology Program (APTP), which was advocated by ACPA and implemented by the IPRF in the early 2000’s. Oversight for the new program will be through a Program Coordination Group (PCG). The CP Tech Center, ACPA, and FAA will each have a member on the PCG. Other entities that may be represented on the PCG are:

  • National Association of State Aviation Officials
  • American Association of Airport Executives
  • Airports Council International – North America
  • American Society of Civil Engineers, Air Transportation Division
  • Airport Consultants Council
  • Construction Contractor Member of ACPA
  • Boeing Aircraft Company
  • Department of Defense (U.S. Air Force)
  • Federal Aviation Administration (Office of Airports)

The program will be focused on applied research to address specific problems identified by the PCG. The intent is to address issues affecting concrete pavements that are outside the scope or expertise of the FAA Test Center. “In this way we extend the reach of FAA’s development of new and revised standards and specifications, and their adoption of new technology. It’s a win-win for the agency and industry,” says Gary Mitchell, ACPA Vice President of Airports and Technology.

Working with the FAA, ACPA has already developed a list of potential projects to be recommended for consideration to the PCG. These projects include: alternatives or new materials for ASR mitigation, rapid construction procedures, pop-out control for concrete mixtures, alternative methods for pavement strength acceptance, effects of grinding on airfield pavements, alternative doweling systems for thin concrete pavements and overlays, and rubber removal guidance for airfield pavements.

“We are pleased to see this FAA cooperative research program get re-started. It has taken a good bit of time and effort to see this program brought back to life,” says Gary Mitchell. “We have been discussing various applied research needs with the FAA Headquarters engineers for some time and this program will help fulfill some of those high-priority needs.

“Leif Wathne [Executive Vice President] and Gary Mitchell, along with association partners and consultants have done an outstanding job advocating for funding through the reauthorization and appropriation legislation to support this important program,” says Jerry Voigt, ACPA President/CEO.  “ACPA also has invested significant effort with the CP Tech Center and FAA to garner support for the program and we now look forward to getting the program underway to build on the success of the past IPRF research program.”

“I am delighted that the FAA has agreed to fund this program,” says Dr. Peter Taylor, Director of the CP Tech Center. “It will allow researchers around the US the opportunity to help address some of the critical research needs in concrete construction for airfields. We look forward to working with the FAA team to prioritize the work and get it started!”