Airfield Pavement Management System

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Context: Airfield pavement management system in India for the first time.

Relevance: GS 3, Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways, etc.  


What is Airfield Mangement System?

  • Airport pavement management systems (APMS) are computer-based decision support systems that can be used by the agencies running airports to determine cost-effective maintenance.
  • and rehabilitation strategies to preserve the various pavement structures (runways, taxiways, etc.) which are a critical component of these facilities.
  • It will assist airport managers in developing viable strategies to maintain the pavements in a serviceable condition over a given period and quantify information on maintaining a pavement network at an acceptable level of service.
  • Airfield pavements comprise multiple layers of engineered materials, such as asphalt, concrete and granular materials, designed to carry aircraft loading.
  • Pavements deteriorate with time under loading and from environmental variations. Maintenance and rehabilitation are required to maintain serviceability throughout the pavement asset’s life.

Airfield pavement management system in India 

  • The Airports Authority of India (AAI), along with the CSIR-Central Road Research Institute (CRRI), is set to install airfield pavement management systems (APMS), in a first, at 10 airports across India.
  • Chennai, Surat, Kolkata, Gaggal, Imphal, Agartala, Vadodara, Rajahmundry, Khajuraho and Gaya are the medium traffic airports shortlisted for the APMS project.
  •  It will also optimize pavement-related expenditure.
  • The APMS will work in the concept of digitization with scientific equipment.
  • The CSIR-CRRI will assess the runway's functional and structural conditions using state-of-the-art technology. Based on the survey parameters, the APMS system will function as a condition index, which will score the status as excellent or poor.
  • The runways can be revamped or conditioned ensuring good maintenance.
  • The pavement is the most important airport asset.
  • This is particularly the case for single-runway airports such as a majority of the Indian airports. It should be constructed and maintained at acceptable levels to meet international standards as pavements have a significant impact on airport users’ cost, safety, traffic delay, commercial performance, and reputation.
  • This will ensure the durability of the runways and ensure safe landing and take-offs.
  • The state-of-the-art network survey vehicle system, equipped with laser sensors, pavement surface imaging tools, GPS and structural condition data based on FWD equipment, will be used for health monitoring of the runway pavement network.
  • The full length of the pavement would be resurfaced after a certain period or in case of deterioration and with APMS, the weak portion could be identified well in advance to take up necessary rehabilitation or repair measures for that particular area.

With American and European countries having their own pavement management systems, India is not too late to start to ensure safety management. Civil aviation ministry initiated the process. The damages or faults in the pavements can be identified well in advance, which will help to avoid complete revamping of the pavement.

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