Determining the Pavement Classification Number (PCN)

Safety and continuity of air traffic

Airport pavements must meet strict international standards for bearing capacity. The Aircraft Classification Number (ACN) is a number expressing the effect of an aircraft on the runway pavement, using a method defined by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The Pavement Classification Number (PCN) is an ICAO standard used in combination with the ACN to indicate the strength of a runway, taxiway or apron. This helps to ensure that airport pavements are not subjected to excessive wear and tear, thus prolonging the usable life of the runway while promoting safe operations of aircraft.

The load exerted on a pavement by the landing gear of an airplane is denoted as its ACN. The ACN is not permitted to exceed the PCN of the runway in order to prolong pavement life and prevent possible pavement damage.

With the increasing growth of air traffic, the load on pavements increases as well. Bearing capacity testing is necessary to ensure the safety and continuity of air traffic.

QRoad provides the solution for getting PCN values through Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD) and Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) testing. Our equipment allows us to simulate heavy wheel loads, from airplanes such as the Airbus A380 and Boeing 777. We have extensive experience in working at airports.

    FWD and GPR testing for airports

    • Existing pavements: determining the PCN, stiffness, residual life and layer thickness
    • New pavements: as a starting point for efficient pavement management
    • Concrete slabs: determining load transfer
    • During construction: determining the stiffness of the subbase and base course
    • General: monitoring evaluation of the structural condition
    • As a verification method

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