Request for Proposal
Project 06-03
Performance Based Specifications for HMA Airfield Pavements

Proposals Due May 18, 2007

Performance Based Specifications for HMA Airfield Pavements


Performance based specifications for highway HMA pavements are increasingly being used by Departments of Transportation. These types of specifications may provide significant benefits to the airport pavement community. Presently, Federal Aviation Administration specifications are primarily method-based which provide how each component of airport pavement is to be constructed. To move toward a performance base specification, relationships between long term airport pavement operational performance and initial construction indicators and test data needs to be re-established. This project will examine the aircraft operational requirements related to pavement performance and its relationship to airport hot mix asphalt pavement specifications contained in P-401, Plant Mix Bituminous Pavements and EB-59A Plant Mix Bituminous Pavement (Superpave).


The objective of this study is to develop comprehensive guidance that ties the operational requirements of airfield pavements to the technical specification and discussions provided in FAA Specification P-401 and EB-59A Plant Mix Bituminous Pavement (Superpave). The selected contractor shall identify important aircraft operational requirements related to pavement condition and investigate relationships between the existing P-401 specification and the operational pavement performance. If existing relationships do not exist or need revision, a comprehensive framework for future work shall be detailed and initial research problem statements developed. These problem statements shall be in a format compatible with the National Academy of Sciences Transportation Research Broad, Airport Cooperative Research Program process. The completion of the work identified in this project will lay the foundation for developing performance based P-401 specifications that are based upon providing the pavement characteristics that satisfy the long term operational needs of the airfield pavement users. As a minimum, the selected contractor shall address the following items related to airport hot mix asphalt (HMA) pavements:

  1. Aircraft Operational Performance Characteristics:
    1. Directional control
    2. Foreign Objective Damage (FOD) prevention
    3. Minimal maintenance that will impact flight schedules
  2. Existing P-401 HMA Pavement Characteristics:
    1. Smoothness
    2. Density
    3. Air Voids
    4. Stability and Flow
    5. Joint Density
    6. Thickness
    7. Grade
    8. Materials Characteristics
  3. Aircraft Type
  4. Pavement Use (Taxiways, Runways & Aprons)


This project will investigate relationships between aircraft operational performance and requirements pavement engineering requirements to revise FAA P-401 specification or EB 59A requirements to be performance based. The completed project document will identify established relations and areas where additional information is needed to fully establish a performance based specification. The new performance-based specification should ultimately lead to creativity/innovation by the contractor but maintain standards that can be used to evaluate the construction by determining acceptable construction measurement parameters. The existing FAA specifications will be evaluated for contributions to the essential operation performance criteria. It is anticipate that the final report will include a revised P-401 draft that addresses the key material requirements and operational performance-based specifications. The commentary of the revised specification shall provide a clear understanding of the relationship established with the aircraft operational performance in this project or indicate the need for additional research in the particular area.

The product shall be developed by addressing the following tasks:

Task 1 -- Literature search and interviews with aircraft manufacturers and airfield operators to define operational performance characteristics and their relationship with performance based specifications, success and potential problems. This effort shall result in an initial definition of airport pavement performance based specifications and the identification of needed research.

Task 2 -- Develop a detailed list of operational characteristics that HMA pavements must provide throughout the life of the facility.

Task 3 -- Identify pavement performance measures during construction that will insure that the operational characteristic will be maintained.

Task 4 -- Provide an interim report that provides the reasoning and performance documentation of the relationship between the operational requirements and selected pavement measures. This interim report shall establish which relationships are based upon solid data and which are based upon less than documented information. Completion of this task is expected 12-14 months after award. The technical panel will review and establish if a meeting at a mutually agreed upon location is needed. The purpose of this meeting is for the technical panel to provide comments and direction for the completion of the project.

Task 5 -- Identify tests and/or methods to provide the pavement characteristics related to the operational performance criteria.

Task 6 -- Identify areas for additional research needed to establish pavement construction characteristics and operational performance and prepare problem statement in TRB format.

Task 7 -- Complete draft final report and submit for comments from technical panel. The Panel will provide comments within 1 month of receipt of the draft report.

Task 8 -- Revise report and other documents per comments and provide final report with problems statement included in the appendix. Camera ready copy of the final documents and electronic copy in press quality PDF format shall be submitted under this task.

All written documentation will be prepared using Microsoft Word unless otherwise stated. All reports will be the property of the AAPTP and Auburn University and will be supplied in a format that complies with the FAA's Section 508 requirements for electronic documents.

Proposal Evaluation Criteria

The proposal will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  1. Demonstrated understanding of the problem;
  2. Merit of the proposed approach and planned execution of the tasks;
  3. Experience, qualifications, and diversity of the research team;
  4. Plan and/or ability for applying results for airfield use;
  5. Manpower and cost structure

Reporting Requirements

Progress Reports

Quarterly progress reports (1 hard copy and an electronic copy in Microsoft Word format) are required from the research agency and are to be prepared on the basis of calendar quarters. The research agency will mail the report directly to the AAPTP and will e-mail each of the members of the technical review panel a copy of the progress report. Each report will include a cover letter and the following:

  1. a clear and complete description of the work performed on each task during that quarter;
  2. an outline of the work to be accomplished during the next quarter;
  3. a description of any problem(s) encountered or anticipated that might affect the completion of the project within the time and fiscal constraints recommended;
  4. provide potential solutions to problems identified in (c) if any exist.

Report Format

The formats for the Interim and Final reports are provided under "Research Process."

Contractual Information

Funds Available: $190,000

Contract Time: 24 months (includes 1 month for AAPTP to review and for the contractor to revise the final report.)

Staff Responsibility: Monte Symons, 334-844-4964,

Proposals Due: May 18, 2007

Submit Proposals To: AAPTP, 277 Technology Parkway, Auburn, AL, 36830

Authorization to Begin Work: June 15, 2007 -- estimated

Maintained by Linda Kerr