What Criteria goes into Airport Runway Pavement Design?

An airport runway must handle the impact of landing air traffic despite the challenge of often poor subgrade conditions.  Design criteria standardized by the FAA considers the Gross Allowable Aircraft Weight, subgrade strength CBR or Subgrade Modulus k, and Uniform Soil Classification (USC).  Additional factors considered include frost penetration and drainage.   Generally, non-hub airports range in thickness from 9 to 12 inches of concrete or asphalt, while larger airports such as JFK are constructed 15 to 18 inches thick of asphaltic concrete to withstand larger and more frequent loading.



www.faa.gov/airports/engineering/cement FAQ