The Airport Pavement Research Program (APRP) was established in 2017 to address the long-term lack of research and development in Australian airport pavement technology and practice upkeep. The APRP will initially extend over five years and is supported by the Australian Airports Association (in conjunction with the Department of Defence), Sunshine Coast Council (owners of Sunshine Coast Airport) and Perth Airport.
Additional information relating to these current projects is available at: Research Projects.
The research agenda has been developed in conjunction with the Australian Airports Association’s Pavement Working Group and is ratified by the supporting organisations. The research priorities will be reviewed annually. Current priorities include:
- Mitigations for reflection cracking in asphalt over concrete pavements.
- Evaluation of marginal materials for foamed bitumen stabilisation.
- Improved accelerated ageing of asphalt samples in the laboratory.
- Load transfer efficiency of rigid aircraft pavement joints.
- Compaction and proving of granular layers during airport pavement construction.
- Options for sustainable airport pavements through recycling of materials.
- Crumbed rubber for slowing the ageing of asphalt surfaces.
- Comparative analysis of regional airport pavement surfaces.
- Sustainable concrete mixtures using glass and plastic.
- Liquid dye as a snow sintering accelerant for south pole runway construction.
- Waste plastic as a sustainable asphalt polymer modifier.
- Better waste plastic modified binder storage stability.
Future research opportunities include:
- Analysis of different fine crushed rock base courses using repeated load triaxial testing.
- Asphalt construction joint density, testing, compliance and improvement.
The effect of different asset management strategies on a network of airfield pavements.
- Developing a universal long term trend in runway friction for aircraft skid resistance.
- Sustainable airport concrete mixtures by recycling existing concrete waste.
The University of the Sunshine Coast gratefully appreciates the support provided by:
- Australian Airports Association
- Perth Airport
- Australian Government - Department of Defence
Industry support and representation
In additional to APRP research and projects, USC APRP staff and students also supported and represented the Australian airport industry through a range of initiatives, including:
- Supported the Australian Airport Association’s Pavement & Lighting Forum and Worksop events in 2017, 2019 and 2021.
- Prepared draft Pavement Strength and Runway Skid Resistance Advisory Circulars for CASA.
- Membership and Secretary of the Australian Airport Association’s Pavement Working Group since 2017.
- Presented a series of webinars for the Australian Airports Association on airport pavement basics, design, construction and maintenance over 2018 to 2020.
- Updated the Airport Practice Note 12: Airfield Pavement Essentials, to address the new civil aviation standards.
- Facilitated an Airport Sprayed Sealing Specification, published by AAPA in September 2020.
- Facilitated an Airport Performance Based Asphalt Specification, published by AAPA in February 2018.
- Represented CASA on the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s Airport Pavement Expert Group and Friction Task Force since 2016.
Research outputs and publications
All APRP outcomes will be publicly and openly available for the benefit of the whole airport industry. This includes a catalogue of outputs by topic and research outputs sorted by research theme.
Director, Airport Pavement Research Program, USC
Dr Greg White
Tel: +61 400 218 048