The ACPA-initiated “Airfield Pavement Technology Program (APTP)” was included in the latest “minibus” funding package, which secures the funding for FY 2020.

The measure was approved as part of a two-package “minibus” legislation totaling about $500 billion. The House approved the measures on December 17; the Senate approved the package on December 19; and President Trump signed both into law on December 20.

Leif Wathne, ACPA Executive Vice President, points to collaborative efforts that led to the inclusion of the program. “We worked closely with PCA and NAPA to include the program in the 2018 FAA bill (the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018). With the authorization secured, ACPA, along with support from legislative consultants Ed Graber and Chad Bradley, PCA and NAPA, then turned the focus to appropriations.”

“Last year, we worked together with our legislative partners to secure an addition $6 million in funding over the baseline amount ($33,224,000) for Airport Technology Research, effectively funding the APTP program called out in Section 744 of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018” he says, adding this is an essential step for each of the five years of the program. “We went to Congress and requested another $6 million to ensure we exceeded the baseline amount, which we are confident will create the opportunity for the FAA to establish a cooperative agreement and/or other collaborative research with the National Concrete Pavement Technology Center (CP Tech Center), similarly to the way past IPRF programs were handled.”

The groundwork for collaborative research with the FAA has been ongoing and was the topic of a productive meeting last June at the FAA’s William J. Hughes Technical Center in Atlantic City, NJ. Representing ACPA and the CP Tech Center were Jim Mack (2019 Chairman) of CEMEX, Jerry Voigt, Leif Wathne, Gary Mitchell, Gordon Smith and Peter Taylor, Ph.D. (See related story: Meeting Focuses on Collaborative Airport Pavement Research.)

The approach to the APTP program is modeled closely after the highly successful, ACPA-led AID-PT program in recent Highway Bills,* which has resulted in millions of dollars’ worth of support and scores of technology advances since 2012.  

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* 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. The program has resulted in funding and major initiatives being directed to the National Concrete Pavement Technology Center (CP Tech Center), an ACPA Technology Partner. AID-PT has had direct and tangible benefits for highway agencies, contractors, consultants, and academia. Concrete overlays and performance-engineered concrete mixtures (including the use of recycled concrete aggregates) are two technology initiatives that have received support in the form of outreach, education & training, and technology transfer.

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