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Diploma of Airport Management

Airport Pavement Concessions


(Preliminary)

INDEX Number S6780


Swan TAFE Diploma in Airport Management

Table of Contents

1. COURSE INTENT........................................................................................................................................4
1.1 DEFINITIONS AND CONVERSION FACTORS. .....................................................................................................4
1.2 EXTRACT FROM ERSA INTRO................................................................................................................4
2. ICAO ANNEX 14 EXTRACT........................................................................................................................6

3. INTRODUCTION..........................................................................................................................................8
3.1 BACKGROUND........................................................................................................................................8
3.2 THE NEED TO KNOW PAVEMENT STRENGTH....................................................................................................8
3.3 PUBLICATION OF PAVEMENT STRENGTH........................................................................................................8
3.4 DEVELOPMENT OF A STANDARD METHOD......................................................................................................8
4. CONCEPT OF THE ACN-PCN METHOD....................................................................................................9

5. HOW ACNS ARE DETERMINED..............................................................................................................10


5.1 STANDARD VALUES AND DESCRIPTION OF TERMS........................................................................................10
5.1.1 Subgrade Category.......................................................................................................................10
5.1.2 Concrete Working Stress For Rigid Pavements...........................................................................10
5.1.3 Tyre Pressure...............................................................................................................................10
5.1.4 Mathematically Derived Single Wheel Load..................................................................................11
5.1.5 Aircraft Classification Number (ACN)............................................................................................11
5.1.6 Center Of Gravity..........................................................................................................................11
5.2 ABBREVIATIONS ....................................................................................................................................11
5.2.1 Aircraft parameters.......................................................................................................................11
5.2.2 Pavement and subgrade parameters............................................................................................12
5.2.3 Tyre Pressures.............................................................................................................................12
5.3 MATHEMATICAL MODELS .........................................................................................................................12
5.4 COMPUTER PROGRAMMES .......................................................................................................................12
5.5 GRAPHICAL PROCEDURES .......................................................................................................................12
5.6 RIGID PAVEMENTS .................................................................................................................................13
5.7 CALCULATION OF RIGID PAVEMENT REFERENCE THICKNESS AND ACN................................................................18
5.8 TYRE PRESSURE ADJUSTMENT TO ACN....................................................................................................18
5.9 CALCULATION OF FLEXIBLE PAVEMENT REFERENCE THICKNESS AND ACN............................................................21
5.10 FLEXIBLE PAVEMENTS ..........................................................................................................................21
6. PROCEDURE FOR PAVEMENTS MEANT FOR LIGHT AIRCRAFT.......................................................24

7. EXERCISES...............................................................................................................................................25

8. GUIDANCE ON OVERLOAD OPERATIONS............................................................................................26


8.1 CRITERIA SUGGESTED BY ICAO.............................................................................................................26
8.2 PRACTICES OF VARIOUS COUNTRIES.........................................................................................................26
8.2.1 Canada.........................................................................................................................................26
8.2.2 United Kingdom............................................................................................................................27
8.2.3 Australia........................................................................................................................................27
9. ACNS FOR SEVERAL AIRCRAFT TYPES...............................................................................................30
9.1 INTRODUCTION......................................................................................................................................31
TABLE 1 - ACNS FOR SEVERAL AIRCRAFT TYPES ON RIGID AND FLEXIBLE PAVEMENTS.................................................31
10. ACN CHARTS FOR VARIOUS AIRCRAFT.............................................................................................37
10.1 PAVEMENT STRENGTH CLASSIFICATION THE ICAO ACN / PCN METHOD.............................47
10.2 BACKGROUND.............................................................................................................................47
10.3 THE ICAO RATING SYSTEM........................................................................................................47
10.4 HOW TO CALCULATE AN ACN....................................................................................................48
10.5 HOW TO RATE A PAVEMENT......................................................................................................49
10.6 LIMITATIONS OF ACN / PCN........................................................................................................49
10.7 THE ACN REFERS ONLY TO RUTTING.......................................................................................50
2 Airport Pavement Concessions. Module 24945 VER 2
Diploma of Airport Management Swan TAFE

10.8 LOAD RATING SYSTEM OR DESIGN METHOD...........................................................................50


10.9 SIGNIFICANCE OF OVERLOAD...................................................................................................50
11. PAVEMENT CONCESSIONS RPA GUIDANCE EXTRACT...................................................................51

12. PAVEMENT TYPES, RATING AND DESIGN PHILOSOPHY.................................................................51

13. PAVEMENT OVERLOAD........................................................................................................................52

14. CONCESSION DECISION CRITERIA.....................................................................................................52

15. APPROVALS...........................................................................................................................................53

Module S6780 VER 2 Airport Pavement Concessions. 3


Swan TAFE Diploma in Airport Management

1. COURSE INTENT.
This segment of the Diploma in Airport Management is a educational unit intended to acquaint prospective
aerodrome managers as to the basic factors involved in the ACN-PCN method, (Aircraft Classification
Number – Pavement Classification Number).

It is not intended to enable aerodrome operators to make technical pavement evaluations. That is the
province of a experienced professional airport civil engineer, however it does provide guidelines which
enable judgments to be made, as to whether professional civil engineering advice is required.

1.1 Definitions and Conversion Factors.

The Newton is the SI unit (Standard International Unit) of force (Systeme International d’Unites ie metric
system).
This system is used in the sciences and by all countries using the metric system.

 Force = mass x acceleration

 Density = mass/volume. ie t/m3 or k/m3

 Pressure = Force/Area :

ie Pounds per square inch, PSI or;


Metric System, the Pascal …. kPa or MPa.

1 MPa = 1000 kPa.

A Newton is the force required to accelerate a mass of I kilogramme @ 1 metre per sec2.

1 Newton per m2 is 1 Pascal ….. the pressure unit.

1 Kilogramme = 2.2046 pounds.


1 Pound = 0.453592 kilogrammes.
NOTE.
To convert MPa into PSI multiply MPa by 145.038.
To convert inches to cm multiply inches by 2.54.

1.2 Extract from ERSA INTRO

11 RUNWAY DESIGNATION

RWY are normally numbered in relation to their magnetic direction rounded off to the nearest 10 degrees.
Single runways are shown with the lower number on the left side. Parallel runways designated Left/Right are
shown with the left runway listed first. Multiple runways are shown in ascending order from top to bottom.

12 RUNWAY BEARING

IN DEGREES MAGNETIC

4 Airport Pavement Concessions. Module 24945 VER 2


Diploma of Airport Management Swan TAFE

13 RUNWAY DIMENSIONS
The RWY length is generally the TKOFF run (physical length) AVBL for both RWY directions. In ERSA,
RWY dimensions are shown using one of the FLW methods:
a. ABBREVIATIONS: In this method, runway length is shown as multiples of I00 FT. (e.g. Lengths of 7000
FT to 7049 FT are shown as 70, lengths of 7050 FT to 7149 FT are shown as 71.)

b. UN-ABBREVIATED: Runway length and width are shown in both metres and feet, with the feet

bracketed. Metric values are not abbreviated.


SURFACE.
Runway surface is shown as follows:
a or A – asphalt or bitumen;
b or B – concrete;
c or C – other surfaces (always to be qualified by a note).

14 PAVEMENT STRENGTHS

The ICAO standard method of reporting pavement strength known as Aircraft Classification
Number/Pavement Classification Number (ACN/PCN) has been incorporated.
NOTES:
1. Pavement strength data for RAAF aerodromes is tabulated in PLANNING PART 1 SECTION 2
CHAPTER 4. (MILITARY)
2. Omission of pavement strength indicates that the RWY is unrated. See AIP/AD 1.1 Section 6 for
operating limitations.

15. PAVEMENT TYPE FOR ACN-PCN DETERMINATION.

Pavement type Code


Rigid pavement R
Flexible pavement F

16. SUBGRADE STRENGTH CATEGORY.

Subgrade strength category Code


High strength A
Medium strength B
Low strength C
Ultra low strength D

17. MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE TYRE PRESSURE.

1. Weight and tyre pressure limits are shown in kg and kPa (PSI) in the format 5700 450(65) and are gross
limits, i.e. an ACFT may use that part of the movement area if the weight and tyre pressure are BLW the
figures shown at the time of the operation. It the limitation is based on MTOW, this will be shown in the
format MTOW 5700 KG, precluding an ACFT with MTOW in excess of the figure quoted FM OPR on the
area specified.
2 Weight or tyre restrictions on RWY, TWY & aprons are shown in the remarks.

18. EVALUATION METHOD.


Evaluation method Code
Technical evaluation: representing a specific study of the pavement characteristics and
application of pavement behaviour technology. T

Using aircraft experience: representing a knowledge of the specific type


and mass of aircraft satisfactorily being supported under regular use. U

Module S6780 VER 2 Airport Pavement Concessions. 5


Swan TAFE Diploma in Airport Management

Aircraft Classification Number – Pavement Classification Number (ACN-PCN) Method

2. ICAO Annex 14 Extract Pavement type for ACN-PCN determination:

Code
Strength of Pavements
Rigid pavement R
The bearing strength of a pavement shall be
determined. Flexible pavement F
The bearing strength of a pavement intended for Note.- If the actual construction is composite or
aircraft of apron (ramp) mass greater that non-standard, include a note to that effect (see
5,700Kg shall be made available using the aircraft example 2 below).
classification number – pavement classification
number (ACN-PCN) method by reporting all of the subgrade strength category:
following information:
a) the pavement classification number (PCN); Code
b) pavement type for ACN-PCN determination;
c) subgrade strength category; High strength; characterised A
d) maximum tire pressure category or maximum by K = 150 MN/m3 and
allowable tire pressure value; and representing all K values
e) evaluation method. above 120 MN/m3 for rigid
pavements, and by CBR 15
Note.- If necessary, PCNs may be published to and representing all CBR
an accuracy of one tenth of a whole number.The values above 13 for flexible
pavement classification number (PCN) reported pavements.
shall indicate that an aircraft classification number
(ACN) equal or less than the reported PCN can Medium strength; B
operate on the pavement subject to any limitation characterised by K = 80
on the tire pressure, or aircraft all-up mass for MN/m3 and representing a
specified aircraft type(s). range in K of 60 to 120 MN/m3
for rigid pavements, and by
Note.- Different PCNs may be reported if the CBR 10 and representing a
strength of the pavement is subject to significant range in CBR of 8 to 13 for
seasonal variation. flexible pavements.
The ACN of an aircraft shall be determined in Low strength; characterised by C
accordance with the standard procedures K = 40 MN/m3 and
associated with the ACN-PCN method. representing a range in K of 25
to 60 MN/m3 for rigid
Note.- The standard procedures for determining pavements, and by CBR 6 and
the ACN of an aircraft are given in the Aerodrome representing a range in CBR
Design Manual, Part 3. For convenience several of 4 to 8 for flexible
types currently in use have been evaluated on pavements.
rigid and flexible pavements founded on four
subgrade categories below and the results
tabulated in that manual. Ultra low strength; D
characterised by K = 20
For the purpose of determining the ACN, the MN/m3 and representing all K
behaviour of a pavement shall be classified as values below 25 MN/m3 for
equivalent to a rigid or flexible construction. rigid pavements, and by CBR
= 3 and representing all CBR
Information on pavement type for ACN-PCN values below 4 for flexible
determination, subgrade strength category, pavements.
maximum allowable tire pressure category and
evaluation method shall be reported using the
following codes: Maximum allowable tire pressure category:

Code

6 Airport Pavement Concessions. Module 24945 VER 2


Diploma of Airport Management Swan TAFE

High; no pressure limit W


Example 4.- If a pavement is subject to a B747-
Medium; pressure limited to X 400 all up mass limitation of 390,000Kg, then the
1.50MPa reported information would include the following
note:
Low; pressure limited to Y
1.00MPa Note.- the reported PCN is subject to a B747-400
all-up mass limitation of 390,000Kg.
Very low; pressure limited to Z
0.50MPa Recommendation.- Criteria should be
established to regulate the use of a pavement by
an aircraft with an ACN higher than the PCN
reported for that pavement in accordance with the
Evaluation method: standards laid down herein.

Code The bearing strength of a pavement intended for


aircraft of apron (ramp) mass equal to or less than
Technical evaluation: T 5,700Kg shall be made available by reporting the
representing a specific study following information:
of the pavement
characteristics and application
of pavement behaviour
technology. maximum allowable aircraft mass; and

Using aircraft experience; U maximum allowable tire pressure.


representing a knowledge of
the specific type and mass of Example: 4,000Kg / 0.50MPa.
aircraft satisfactorily being
supported under regular use.
Note.
Note.- The following examples illustrate how In Australia this is reported as:-
pavement strength data are reported under the
ACN-PCN method. kg/kPa/PSI i.e.

Example 1.- If the bearing strength of a rigid 4000/500(73PSI).


pavement, resting on a medium strength
subgrade, has been assessed by technical
evaluation to be PCN 80 and there is no tire
pressure limitation, then the reported information
would be:

PCN 80/R/B/W/T

Example 2.- If the bearing strength of a composite


pavement, behaving like a flexible pavement and
resting on a high strength subgrade, has bee
assessed by using aircraft experience to be PCN
50 and the maximum tire pressure allowable is
1.0MPa, then the reported information would be:

PCN 50/F/A/Y/U

Note.- Composite construction

Example 3.- If the bearing strength of a flexible


pavement, resting on a medium subgrade, has
been assessed by technical evaluation to be PCN
40 and a maximum allowable tire pressure is
0.8mpa, then the reported information would be:

PCN 40/F/B/0.8MPa/T
Module S6780 VER 2 Airport Pavement Concessions. 7
3. Introduction

3.1 Background.

In the early days of aviation the bearing strength of pavements was not a critical factor because aircraft
wheel loads and tyre pressures were low. Generally dry natural ground conditions with minimal preparation
were adequate. Over the years larger and larger aircraft with high wheel loads and tyre pressures have
been developed necessitating the construction of pavements over the natural ground so that these high
loads could be supported safely. Complex undercarriage arrangements have been employed to better
distribute the ever increasing gross weight of aircraft on the pavement. For example the DC-3, a front line
aircraft of the 1930’s, has a gross mass of 11500 kg supported on two single main wheels with tyre
pressures of 310 kPa (45 psi). Today’s B747 has a gross mass of 380000 kg supported on sixteen
mainwheels with tyre pressures of 1415 kPa (205 psi).

3.2 The need to know Pavement Strength

The question of whether a pavement is strong enough for a particular aircraft is of paramount importance for
the safe operation of that aircraft. To enable an operator or pilot to determine if a runway is of adequate
bearing strength he must know the strength of the runway and the loading characteristics of his aircraft. The
consequences of using a pavement of inadequate strength depend on the severity of the overload and the
frequency of operations. In extreme cases, they can range from catastrophic damage to bogging of the
aircraft. Where the overload is not as severe, pavement damage of varying degrees can be causes which
can result in runway closure and expensive repairs. It is therefore important that pavement strength and the
loading characteristics of aircraft are made available to operators and pilots.

3.3 Publication of Pavement Strength

The information is made available by publication in the Aeronautical Information Publications.

A variety of methods have been used throughout the world to report pavement strengths and compare the
loading characteristics of aircraft. Australia has used the load classification number method, and the
pavement rating format of MTP/PDF/LCL (Maximum Tyre Pressure/Pavement Depth Factor/Load
Classification Number) is familiar to the aviation industry.

3.4 Development of a Standard Method

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) presviously recommended four methods for reporting
pavement strength. For more than a decade ICAO has been working towards the development of a
reporting method which will be accepted internationally and will remove the ambiguities and confusion of a
number of different methods. An ICAO study group of pavement experts from a number of countries
examined various methods and through its work the Aircraft Classification Number – Pavement
Classification Number (ACN-pcn) Method was recommended. The ACN-PCN has now been approved as
the ICAO standard and has been adopted by Australia.

Hence Annex 14, specifies that the bearing strength of a pavement intended for aircraft of mass greater than
5,700Kg shall be made available using the Aircraft Classification Number – Pavement Classification Number
(ACN-PCN) method. To facilitate a proper understanding and usage of the ACN-PCN method the following
material explains:

a) the concept of the method; and

b) how the ACNs of an aircraft are determined.


4. Concept Of The ACN-PCN Method

ICAO Annex 14 defines ACN and PCN as follows:

ACN A number expressing the relative effect of an aircraft on a pavement for a specified
standard subgrade strength.

PCN A number expressing the bearing strength of a pavement for unrestricted aircraft
operations.

At the outset, it needs to be noted that the ACN-PCN method is meant only for publication of pavement
strength data in the Aeronautical Information Publications (AIPs). It is not intended for design or evaluation
of pavements, nor does it contemplate the use of a specific method by the airport owner/authority either for
the design or evaluation of pavements. In fact, the ACN-PCN method does permit member States
(countries) to use any design/evaluation method of their choice. To this end, the method shifts the emphasis
from evaluation of pavements to evaluation of load rating of aircraft (ACN) and includes a standard
procedure for evaluation of the load rating of aircraft. The strength of a pavement is reported under the
method in terms of the load rating of the aircraft which the pavement can accept on an unrestricted basis.
The airport owner/authority can use any method of their choice to determine the load rating of their
pavements. In the absence of a technical evaluation, the airport owner/authority may choose to go on the
basis of the aircraft actually using the particular pavement. The airport owner/authority would then compute
the ACN of the most critical aircraft, using one of the procedures described below, and convert this figure
into an equivalent PCN and publish it in the AIP as the load rating of the pavement. The PCN so reported
would indicate that an aircraft with an ACN equal to or less than that figure can operate on the pavement
subject to any limitation regarding the aircraft tyre pressures.

The ACN-PCN method contemplates the reporting of pavement strengths on a continuous scale. The lower
end of the scale is zero and there is no upper end. Additionally, the same scale is used to measure the load
ratings of both aircraft and pavements.

To facilitate the use of the method, aircraft manufacturers will publish, in their documents information
detailing the characteristics of their aircraft, ACNs computed at two different masses: maximum apron
mass, and a representative operating mass empty, both on rigid and flexible pavements and for the four
standard subgrade strength categories. Nevertheless, for the sake of convenience Annex 14, includes a
table showing the ACNs of a number of aircraft. It is to be noted that the mass used in the ACN calculation
is a “static” mass and that no allowance is made for an increase in loading through dynamic effects.

The ACN-PCN method also envisages the reporting of the following information in respect of each
pavement:

a) pavement type;

b) subgrade category;

c) maximum tyre pressure allowable; and

d) pavement evaluation method used.

The above data are primarily intended to enable aircraft operators to determine the permissible aircraft types
and operating masses, and the aircraft manufacturers to ensure compatibility between airport pavements
and new aircraft under development. There is, however, no need to report the actual subgrade strength or
the maximum tyre pressure allowable. Consequently, the subgrade strengths and tyre pressures normally
encountered have been grouped into categories as indicated in 5.1.1.1 below. It is sufficient for the airport
owner/authority to identify the categories appropriate to his pavement. (See also the examples included
under Annex 14, 2.6.)

 Pavement damage from rutting(surface) may occur from excessive tyre pressures.
 Excessive wheeel loadings may result in pavement failures such as general loss of shape or large
saucer shaped depressions.
5. How ACNs Are Determined

The flow chart, below, briefly explains how the ACNs of aircraft are computed under the ACN-PCN method.

5.1 Standard Values And Description Of Terms

5.1.1 Subgrade Category.

In the ACN-PCN method eight standard subgrade values are used (four rigid pavement K values and four
flexible pavement CBR values), rather than a continuous scale of subgrade strengths. The grouping of
subgrades with a standard value at the mid-range of each group is considered to be entirely adequate for
reporting purposes. The subgrade strength categories are identified as high, medium, low and ultra low and
assigned the following numerical values:

5.1.1.1 Subgrade Strength Category

High strength; characterised by K = 150 MN/m3 and representing all K values above 120 MN/m3 for rigid
pavements, and by CBR 15 and representing all CBR values above 13 for flexible pavements.

Medium strength; characterised by K = 80 MN/m3 and representing a range in K of 60 to 120 MN/m3 for
rigid pavements, and by CBR 10 and representing a range in CBR of 8 to 13 for flexible pavements.

Low strength; characterised by K = 40 MN/m3 and representing a range in K of 25 to 60 MN/m3 for rigid
pavements, and by CBR 6 and representing a range in CBR of 4 to 8 for flexible pavements.

Ultra low strength; characterised by K = 20 MN/m3 and representing all K values below 25 MN/m3 for rigid
pavements, and by CBR = 3 and representing all CBR values below 4 for flexible pavements.

5.1.2 Concrete Working Stress For Rigid Pavements

For rigid pavements, a standard stress for reporting purposes is stipulated ( = 2.75 MPa) only as a means
of ensuring uniform reporting. The working stress to be used for the design and/or evaluation of pavements
has no relationship to the standard stress for reporting.

5.1.3 Tyre Pressure


The results of pavement research and re-evaluation of old test results reaffirm that except for unusual
pavement construction (i.e., flexible pavements with a thin asphaltic concrete cover or weak upper layers),
tyre pressure effects are secondary to load and wheel spacing. Consequently, tyre pressure may be
categorised in four groups for reporting purposes as high, medium, low and very low and assigned the
following numerical values:

High - No pressure limit

Medium - Pressure limited to 1.50 MPa

Low - Pressure limited to 1.00 MPa

Very low - Pressure limited to 0.50 MPa

5.1.4 Mathematically Derived Single Wheel Load

The concept of a mathematically derived single wheel load has been employed in the ACN-PCN method as
a means to define the landing gear/pavement interaction without specifying pavement thickness as an ACN
parameter. This is done by equating the thickness given by the mathematical model for an aircraft landing
gear to the thickness for a single wheel at a standard tyre pressure of 1.25 MPa. The single wheel load so
obtained is then used without further reference to thickness; this is so because the essential significance is
attached to the fact of having equal thicknesses, implying "same applied stress to the pavement, rather than
the magnitude of the thickness. The foregoing is in accord with the objective of the ACN-PCN method to
evaluate the relative loading effect of an aircraft on a pavement.

5.1.5 Aircraft Classification Number (ACN).

The ACN of an aircraft is numerically defined as two times the derived single wheel load, where the derived
single wheel load is expressed in thousands of kilograms. As noted previously, the single wheel tyre
pressure is standardised at 1.25 MPa. Additionally, the derived single wheel load is a function of the
subgrade strength. The aircraft classification number (ACN) is defined only for the four subgrade categories
(ie., high, medium, low, and ultra low strength). The two (2) multiplying factor in the numerical definition of
the ACN is used to achieve a suitable ACNs in terms of gross mass scale so that whole number ACNs may
be used with reasonable accuracy.

5.1.6 Center Of Gravity

Because an aircraft operates at various mass and centre of gravity conditions the following conventions
have been used in ACN computations.

• the maximum ACN of an aircraft is calculated at the mass and c.g. that produces the highest main gear
loading on the pavement, usually the maximum ramp gross mass and corresponding aircraft CG. The
aircraft tyres are considered as inflated to the manufacturers recommendation for the condition;

• relative aircraft ACN charts and tables show the ACN as a function of aircraft gross mass with the aircraft
c.g. at a constant value corresponding to the maximum ACN value (usually, the aircraft c.g. for max ramp
mass) and at the max ramp mass tyre pressure; and

• specific condition ACN values are those ACN values that are adjusted for the effects of tyre pressure
and/or c.g. location, at a specified gross mass for the aircraft.

5.2 Abbreviations

5.2.1 Aircraft parameters

MRGM Maximum ramp gross mass in kilograms


5.2.2 Pavement and subgrade parameters

 Standard working stress for reporting, 2.75 MPa

t Pavement reference thickness in centimetres

Note: t is defined as the thickness of slab for rigid pavements, or total thickness of
pavement structural system (surface to subgrade) for flexible pavements.

CBR California Bearing Ratio in per cent

Note. CBR values are always used in the standard format. Hence a CBR of 14 would be
entered into the charts or formulae as 15.

5.2.3 Tyre Pressures

Ps Tyre pressure for derived single wheel load - 1.25 MPa

Pq Tyre pressure for aircraft at maximum ramp gross mass condition

Theoretical asphalt pavement Theoretical rigid pavement

Asphalt

Base Thickness (t) Concrete Thickness (t)

Sub-base Sub-base
Subgrade Subgrade

5.3 Mathematical Models.

Two mathematical models are used in the ACN-PCN method: the Westergaard solution for a loaded elastic
plate on a Winkler foundation (interior load case) for rigid pavements, and the Boussinesq solution for
stresses and displacements in a homogeneous isotropic elastic half-space under surface loading for flexible
pavements. The use of these two, widely used, models permits the maximum correlation to world-wide
pavement design methodologies, with a minimum need for pavement parameter values (that is, only
approximate subgrade K, or CBR values are required).

5.4 Computer Programmes.

The two computer programmes developed using these mathematical models have been produced. The
programme for evaluating aircraft on rigid pavements is based on the programme developed by Mr R G
Packard of Portland Cement Association, Illinois, USA and that for evaluating aircraft on flexible pavements
is based on the US Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station Instruction Report S-77-1, entitled
“Procedures for Development of CBR Design Curves”. It should be noted that the aircraft classification
tables included in this manual, completely eliminate the need to use these programmes in respect of most of
the aircraft currently in use.

5.5 Graphical Procedures.

Aircraft for which the manufacturers have published pavement thickness requirement charts can also be
evaluated using the graphical procedures described below.
NOTE.

There is no relationship between the pavement reference thickness and the actual pavement
thickness.
The reference thickness relates to the ACN (aircraft) and the pavement thickness is the result of
design methodology.

5.6 Rigid Pavements.

This procedure uses the conversion chart shown in Figure 1 and the pavement thickness requirement charts
published by the aircraft manufacturers. The Portland Cement Association computer programme was used
in developing Figure 1. This figure relates the derived single wheel load at a constant tyre pressure of 1.25
MPa to a reference pavement thickness. It takes into account the four standard subgrade K values detailed
above, and a standard concrete working stress of 2.75 MPa. The figure also includes an ACN scale which
permits the ACN to be read directly. The following steps are used to determine the ACN of an aircraft:

• using the pavement requirement chart published by the manufacturer obtain the reference thickness for
the given aircraft mass, K value of the subgrade, and the standard concrete stress for reporting, ie. 2.75
MPa;

• using the above reference thickness and Figure 1, obtain a derived single wheel load for the selected
subgrade; and

• the aircraft classification number, at the selected mass and subgrade K value, is two times the derived
single wheel load in 1,000Kg. Note that the ACN can also be read directly from the chart and further that
tyre pressure corrections are not needed when the above procedure is used.

NOTE.

The charts in this text relating to ACN graphical determinations, can be enlarged to A3 for increased
accuracy.
Figure 1 - ACN Rigid Pavement Conversion Chart
This chart is a rigid pavement ACN conversion chart which is supplied with a grid – for ease of use.
Fig 1-4
Fig 1-5
5.7 Calculation of Rigid Pavement reference thickness and ACN.

Example.

Find the ACN of B727-200 Standard at 78,500 Kg on a rigid pavement resting on a medium strength
subgrade (K = 80 MN/m3).
Note that if the K value was 65 MNm –3 the standard K value is still used because this standard value of 80
incorporates all values between 60 and 120 MNm –3 .
The tyre pressure of the main wheels is 1.15 MPa.

Using the graphical method select chart 1-4.


Note that if the aircraft is listed at Table 1, then the ACN can be directly calculated.

The allowable working stress in MPa on the right hand side of the page is not to be selected – it is not the
standard working stress of 2.75 MPa which is required (Fig 1-5 is correct in this regard). The chart shows a
line at 400 PSI which is 2.75 MPa converted to PSI.
From that working stress move horizontally to the aircraft mass line, in this chart the 78,500 mass is the line
which is not given a listed mass. Note that if the aircraft mass does not equate to a listed line then a graph
interpolation is required.
Hence from that intersection vertically to the selected sub-grade strength. Then horizontally to the pavement
thickness value.
On this chart it is easier to use the line marked in inches to ascertain the value of t. By inspection each
gradation on the line equates to 0.2 inches, therefore again by inspection the t value is 12.5 inches which
converts to 31.75 cm. This is the reference pavement thickness t.
Moving to chart Fig 1, a reference thickness of 31.75 cm on a medium strength subgrade gives a DSWL of
25, hence a ACN of 50.

5.8 Tyre Pressure Adjustment To ACN

Aircraft normally have their tyres inflated to the pressure corresponding to the maximum ramp gross mass
and maintain this pressure regardless of the variations in take-off masses. There are times, however, when
operations at reduced masses and reduced tyre pressures are productive and reduced ACNs need to be
calculated. To do this for rigid pavements, a chart has been prepared by the use of the PCN computer
programme PDILB and is given in Figure 2. The example included in the chart itself explains how the chart
is used.

The figure included at 1-7 can be used to to convert rigid pavement ACN’s at different tyre pressures. The
use of the chart is shown at the example given.

Using the data given in Figure 2 from the intersection of a ACN of 50 at the standard tyre pressure line of
1.25 MPa (1250 kPa) move vertically to the intersection of the horizontal 1500 kPa line. Then following the
arc shape intersect the ACN/PCN line at 53.
Figure 2 - ACN Tyre Pressure Adjustment - Rigid Pavements Only
NOTE .
This chart may only be used for revising ACN’s at standard TP, and not reference thicknesses.
5.9 Calculation of Flexible pavement reference thickness and ACN.

5.10 Flexible Pavements.

This procedure uses the conversion chart shown in Figure 2 and the pavement thickness requirement charts
published by the aircraft manufacturers based on the United States Army Engineers CBR procedure. The
former chart has been developed using the following expression: NOTE DSWL is in kilogrammes.

DSWL - DSWL
t =
C1 x CBR C2 x PS

Where t = reference thickness in cm.


DSWL = a single wheel load with 1.25 MPa tyre pressure
CBR = standard subgrade (Note the chart uses four standard values 3, 6, 10 and 15)
Cl = 0.5695
C2 = 32.035

Example.
If a aircraft has a DSWL of 25, hence a ACN of 50, and is resting on a flexible pavement with a subgrade
value CBR of 9, what is the value of T.

t = 25000 - 25000
0.5695 x 10 32.035 x 1.25 = 61.4 cm

The reason for using the latter charts is to obtain the equivalence between the group of landing gear wheels
effect to a derived single wheel load by means of Boussinesq Deflection Factors. The following steps are
used to determine the ACN of an aircraft:

a) using the pavement requirement charts published by the manufacturers determine the reference
thickness for the given aircraft mass, subgrade category, and 10,000 coverages;

b) enter Figure 3 with the reference thickness determined in step a) and the CBR corresponding to the
subgrade category and read the derived single wheel load; and

c) the ACN at the selected mass and subgrade category is two times the derived single wheel load in 1000
kg. Note that the ACN can also be read directly from the chart and also further that tyre pressure
corrections are not needed when the above procedure is used.

Figure 3 - ACN Flexible Pavement Conversion Chart


Note. When using the formula embedded in the chart t is in cm and CBR standard values.
Figure 4

This chart is a flexible pavement ACN conversion chart supplied with grid lines for ease of use.
Example.

Find the ACN of DC-10-10 at 157,400Kg on a flexible pavement resting on a medium strength subgrade
(CBR 10). The tyre pressure of the main wheels is 1.28 MPa.

Using the chart at figure 1-6. From the given CBR value of 10 rise vertically to the intersection of the
157,400 kg aircraft mass, hence horizontally to the reference pavement thickness of 57 cm.

Using this thickness in figure 4 we arrive at a ACN of 43.

This can be checked mathmatically by using the formula embeded in the chart at figure 3.

ACN = 572
1000
0.878 – 0.01249
10

ACN = 43
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DSWL DSWL
t=
For flexible pavements, the CBR equation
C1 x CBR C2 x PS

was used to equate thickness and solve for the reduced pressure ACN in terms of the tyre pressure ACN at
the reduced mass giving the following expression:

1 1
C1 x CBR C2 x PNew
ACN New Pressure = ACNOld Pressure x
1 1
C1 x CBR C2 x POld

Example.
A aircraft has a ACN of 33 on a flexible pavement resting on a subgrade who’s CBR is 10. If the tyre
pressure is raised to 203 PSI what is the new ACN.
 The standard tyre pressure is 1.25 MPa.
 203 PSI converts to 1.4 MPa.
 C1 = 0.5695
 C2 = 32.035

33 x 1 - 1
0.5695 x 10 32.035 x 1.4

1 - 1
0.5695 x 10 32.035 x 1.25

equals 0.1755926 - 0.022297


0.1755926 - 0.0249726

New ACN = 33 x 1.01776 = 33.6 say 34.

6. Procedure For Pavements Meant For Light Aircraft


The ACN-PCN method described above is not intended for reporting strength of pavements meant for light
aircraft, that is those with mass less than 5,700Kg. Annex 14 specifies a simple procedure for such
pavements. This procedure envisages the reporting of only two elements: maximum allowable aircraft mass
and maximum allowable tyre pressure. It is important to note that the tyre pressure categories of the ACN-
PCN method are not used for reporting maximum allowable tyre pressure. Instead, actual tyre pressure
limits are reported as indicated in the following example:
4,000Kg/0.50MPa
Australia reports this as 4000/500(73PSI)

7. Exercises

Exercise 1:

Find the ACN of B727-200 Standard at 78,500 Kg on a rigid pavement resting on a medium strength
subgrade (K = 80 MN/m3). The tyre pressure of the main wheels is 1.15 MPa.

Solution:

The ACN of the aircraft from Table 1 of this document is 50

Exercise 2

An AIP contains the following information related to a runway pavement:


PCN of the pavement = 80
Pavement type = rigid
Subgrade category = medium strength
Tyre pressure limitation – none
Rating determined by aircraft usage

Write this information as it could appear in the AIP.

Determine whether the pavement can accept the following aircraft at the indicated operating masses and
tyre pressures:

Aircraft Mass Tyre pressure

Airbus A 300 Model B2 142,000Kg 1.23MPa


B747-100 334,751Kg 1.55MPa
Concorde 185,066Kg 1.26MPa
DC-10-40 253,105Kg 1.17MPa

Solution

PCN 80/R/B/W/U

ACNs of these aircraft from Table 1 of this document are 44, 51, 71 and 53, respectively. Since the
pavement in question has a PCN of 80 it can accept all of these aircraft.

Exercise 3:

Find the ACN of DC-10-10 at 157,400Kg on a flexible pavement resting on a medium strength subgrade
(CBR 10). The tyre pressure of the main wheels is 1.28 MPa.

Solution:

The ACN of the aircraft from Table 1 of this document is


57 - (196,406 - 157,400) x (57 - 27)
(196,406 - 108,940)

= 57 - 39,006 x 30
87,466

= 57 - 13.4 = 43.6 say 44

8. GUIDANCE ON OVERLOAD OPERATIONS

8.1 Criteria Suggested By ICAO

Overloading of pavements can result from either loads too large or a substantially increased application rate
or both. Loads larger than the defined design or evaluation load shorten the pavement design life whilst
smaller loads or less frequent loading extend the pavement design life. With the exception of massive
overloading, pavements in their structural behaviour are not subject to a particular limiting load above which
they suddenly or catastrophically fail. Behaviour is such that a pavement can sustain a definable load for an
expected number of repetitions during its design life. As a result, occasional minor overloading is
acceptable, when expedient, with only limited loss in pavement life expectancy and relatively small
acceleration of pavement deterioration. For those operations in which magnitude of overload and/or the
frequency of use do not justify a detailed analysis the following criteria are suggested:

• for flexible pavements occasional movements by aircraft with ACN not exceeding 10 per cent above the
reported PCN should not adversely affect the pavement;

• for rigid or composite pavements, in which a rigid pavement layer provides a primary element of the
structure, occasional movements by aircraft with ACN not exceeding 5 per cent above the reported PCN
should not adversely affect the pavement;

• if the pavement structure is unknown the 5 per cent limitation should apply; and

• the annual number of overload movements should not exceed approximately 5 per cent of the total
annual aircraft movements.

Such overload movements should not normally be permitted on pavements exhibiting signs of distress or
failure. Furthermore, overloading should be avoided during any periods of thaw following frost penetration or
when the strength of the pavement or its subgrade could be weakened by water. Where overload
operations are conducted, the appropriate authority should review the relevant pavement condition regularly
and should also review the criteria for overload operations periodically since excessive repetition of
overloads can cause severe shortening of pavement life or require major rehabilitation of pavement.

8.2 Practices Of Various Countries

8.2.1 Canada

The technical assessment of a proposed overload operation is based on the overload ratio concept. The
overload ratio is a measure of the load imposed by the aircraft relative to the nominal design strength of the
pavement. For flexible pavements, the overload ratio imposed by an aircraft is determined by calculating the
subgrade bearing strength required for the existing thickness of pavement. This calculated subgrade
bearing strength is then divided by the actual subgrade bearing strength to form the overload ratio. For rigid
pavements, the overload ratio is defined as the flexural stress imposed in the slab by the aircraft divided by
the design flexural stress of 2.75 MPa.

On the basis of these overload ratios, aircraft operations are classified as follows:

Overload Ratio Operational Classification


less than 1.25 Unrestricted
1.25 to 1.50 Limited
1.50 to 2.00 Marginal
greater than 2.00 Emergency use only

The approval of operations classified as limited or marginal involves the risk of an accelerated rate of
pavement deterioration and shortened service life. This risk increases with increasing value of overload ratio
and frequency of operations. The decision to approve such operations therefore depends on the willingness
of the airport authority to fund pavement rehabilitation measures earlier than may otherwise be necessary.
Normal practice at airports operated by Transport Canada is to permit aircraft operations falling into the
limited and marginal classifications, unless otherwise dictated by age and condition of the pavement, or
funding constraints.

Similar considerations apply to permitting operations by aircraft with tyre pressures higher than restrictions
reported. Provided the overload ratio is less than 1.50, aircraft are normally permitted to operate with tyre
pressures one range higher than the tyre pressure range for which the pavement was designed.

8.2.2 United Kingdom

Individual aerodrome authorities in the United Kingdom are free to decide on their own criteria for permitting
overload operations as long as pavements remain safe for use' by aircraft. However, the following guidance
is provided:

• a 10 per cent difference in ACN over PCN involves an increase in pavement working stresses
which are generally considered acceptable provided the following conditions are satisfied:

− the pavement is more than twelve months old;

− the pavement is not already showing signs of loading distress; and

− overload operations do not exceed 5 per cent of the annual departures and are spread
throughout the year.

• overload operations representing a difference in ACN over PCN of from 10 per cent to 25 per
cent justify regular inspections of the pavement by a competent person in addition to satisfying the
above criteria. There should be an immediate curtailment of such overload operations as soon as
distress becomes evident and the higher loading should not be reimposed until appropriate
pavement strengthening work has been completed;

• overload operations representing a difference in ACN over PCN of from 25 per cent to 50 per
cent may be undertaken under special circumstances. They call for scrutiny of available pavement
construction records and test data by a qualified pavement engineer and a thorough inspection by
a pavement engineer before and on completion of the movement to assess any signs of pavement
distress; and

• overload operations in excess of an ACN over PCN of 50 per cent should only be undertaken in
an emergency.

8.2.3 Australia

8.2.3.1 General

The Aircraft Classification Number/Pavement Classification Number (ACN/PCN) method is used to specify
the strength of pavements and hence permissible aircraft masses.

The operation of an aircraft above the maximum masses and tyre pressures is not permitted unless a
pavement concession is approved by the airport owner/authority.
8.2.3.2 Information Published For Rated Pavements

The parameters published to specify the strength of a pavement suitable for use by aircraft above 5700kg
maximum all up mass are:

a) Pavement Classification Number. PCN


b) The pavement type:
Rigid Pavement R
Flexible Pavement F

c) The subgrade strength in four standard categories:


High Strength A
Medium Strength B
Low Strength C
Ultra-low Strength D

d) The maximum tyre pressure in kilopascals (KPa)


e) The method by which the pavement has been evaluated:
By technical evaluation T
From aircraft experience U

Eg 55/F/A/1400/T

The parameters published for pavements suitable for use by aircraft not above 5700kg maximum all up
mass are:

a) The permissible aircraft gross mass in kilograms.


b) The maximum tyre pressure in kilopascals.

Eg 3500/550 (recall Australian AIP ERSA methodology.)

8.2.3.3 Determination of Pavement Strength Suitability – Rated Pavements

Compare the aircraft tyre pressure with the maximum listed for the pavement.

a. If the tyre pressure does not exceed that listed then the tyre pressure is acceptable.
b. If the tyre pressure exceeds that listed; the permissible pressure may be increased using the factor
obtained in the figure below up to a limit of 1400KPa. If the pressure requirements are then met, and
provided that not more than four movements within a seven day period are proposed for aircraft above
5700kg maximum gross mass, the tyre pressure is acceptable.
c. An aircraft may use a pavement if its ACN for the appropriate type and subgrade strength does not
exceed the published PCN.
Permanent Tyre Pressure Concessions
2.1
2
1.9
1.8
Multiplying Factor (F)

1.7
1.6
1.5
1.4
1.3
1.2
1.1
1
0.9
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Aircraf t Gross Mass (1,000Kg)

Mathematically the above graph is :-


Aircraft Mass < 5 tonnes multiply aerodrome tyre pressure by 2.
Aircraft Mass between 5 and 15 tonnes multiply aerodrome tyre pressure by 2.5 – M
10
Aircraft Mass > 15 tonnes multiply aerodrome tyre pressure by 1.

Example. – for aircraft above 5700 kg MTOW.

A aerodrome listing in ERSA (COCOS ISLAND) gives a runway as PCN30/F/A/700(102PSI)U.

 If a aircraft wishing to use this aerodrome has a ACN greater than 30 the aircraft operator requires
a pavement concession (PC) from the aerodrome operator.
 If the aircraft mass is greater than 15 tonnes and the tyre pressure is above 700 kPa the aircraft
operator requires a PC.
 If the aircraft mass is below 15 t, and when the aerodrome allowable tyre pressure (TP) multiplied
by the allowable permanent tyre pressure concession is less than 1400 kPa meets the required
TP, but more than 4 movements in a 7 day period is countenanced then, a PC is still required.
 If the aircraft mass is below 15 t, and when the aerodrome allowable tyre pressure (TP) multiplied
by the allowable permanent tyre pressure concession is less than 1400 kPa meets the required
TP, and 4 movements in a 7 day period is countenanced then, a PC is not required and the aircraft
operator has no requirement to inform the aerodrome operator of the movements other than the
normal parking, aerodrome operator fees , Customs or Quarantine etcetera requirements.
 Should the above operation cause or give rise to concern to the aerodrome operator in terms of
pavement considerations, it is encumbent upon the aerodrome operator to raise these concerns
with the Authority – CASA.
 A AIS document AIP AD 1.1 lists the above requirements.
 A document named Aerodrome Pavement Concession System – An Explanation for Aerodrome
Operators was previously published by the Commonwealth Department of Transport and
Communications. This Department is now named the Department of Transport and Regional
Services and on request may provide the above document.

 In terms of Cocos Island, a aircraft of mass 10 tonnes, ACN of 30 and TP of 800 kPa wishes to
use the aerodrome once per week.
Evaluation.

a) ACN equal to the PCN - therefore acceptable.


b) Tyre pressure concession – 1.5 x 700 (1050) is greater than the aircraft tyre pressure and less
than 1400 kPa - therefore acceptable.
c) One movement per week meets the frequency criteria – therefore accepable.

Conclusion.

The aircraft operator does not require a pavement concession.

8.2.3.4 Determination of Pavement Strength Suitability – Unrated Pavements

An aircraft may operate on an unrated pavement, provided the aircraft gross mass and tyre pressure do not
exceed that determined in the figure below:

Maximum Permissable Aircraft Tyre Pressure


AIRCRAFT SUITABILITY FOR UNRATED PAVEMENTS

630
600
570
540
Tyre Pressure (KPa)

510
480
450
420
390
360
330
300
270
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Aircraft Gross Mass (1,000Kg)

As a general rule if a aircraft has a TP of 65 PSI or less, providing the pavement is ‘”dry to depth” , then the
movement is suitable for a unrated and/or unsealed pavement for unrestricted movements.

8.2.3.5 Pavement Concessions

The operator of an aircraft requiring a pavement concession should apply to the airport operator for approval
to operate.

The airport operator has sole discretion regarding whether, or not, to issue a pavement concession and
under what conditions the aircraft may use the aircraft pavements.

9. ACNS FOR SEVERAL AIRCRAFT TYPES


9.1 Introduction

Several aircraft types currently in use have been evaluated on rigid and flexible pavements using computer
programmes and the results tabulated in the table below. The two all-up masses shown in column 2 for
each aircraft type are respectively the maximum apron (ramp) mass and a representative operating mass
empty. To compute the ACN for any intermediate value, proceed on the assumption that the ACN varies
linearly between the operating mass empty and the maximum apron mass.

Table 1 - ACNs for several aircraft types on rigid and flexible pavements

ACN for ACN for


Rigid pavement subgrade - MN/m3 Flexible pavement subgrade - CBR
Aircraft All-up Load on Tyre Ultra Very
Type mass one main pressure High Medium Low low High Medium Low low
gear leg (MPa) 150 80 40 20 15 10 6 3
(kg) (%)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

A300 B2 137 000 47.0 1.20 35 42 50 58 39 43 53 68


Airbus 85 910 18 21 25 29 20 22 24 34

A300 B2 142 000 47.0 1.29 35 45 53 61 40 45 55 71


Airbus 85 910 19 22 26 30 21 22 25 34

A300 B4 150 000 47.0 1.39 41 49 57 65 43 49 59 76


Airbus 88 180 20 22 26 31 21 22 25 35

A300 B4 157 000 47.0 1.48 45 53 62 70 46 52 63 80


Airbus 88 330 20 22 26 31 21 22 25 36

A300 B4 165 000 47.0 1.29 46 55 64 73 49 56 68 84


Airbus 88 505 17 20 25 29 20 21 25 36

A300-600 165 000 47.0 1.29 46 55 64 73 49 56 68 84


Airbus 87 100 17 19 24 28 19 21 24 35

A300-600R 170 000 47.4 1.35 49 58 68 78 52 58 71 89


Airbus 85 033 17 19 23 28 19 20 23 34

A300-600R 171 700 47.4 1.35 50 59 69 79 52 59 72 90


Airbus 85 033 17 19 23 28 19 20 23 34

A310-200 132 000 46.7 1.23 33 39 46 54 36 40 48 64


Airbus 76 616 15 18 21 24 18 19 20 27

A310-200 138 600 46.7 1.30 35 42 51 58 39 43 52 68


Airbus 76 747 16 18 21 25 18 19 20 28

A310-200 142 000 46.7 1.33 37 44 52 60 40 44 54 70


Airbus 75 961 15 17 20 23 17 18 20 27

A310-300 150 000 47.0 1.42 42 49 58 66 44 49 59 76


Airbus 77 037 13 14 17 20 15 15 16 24

A310-300 157 000 47.4 1.49 45 54 63 71 47 53 64 81


Airbus 78 900 14 15 18 22 15 15 16 25

A320-100 66 000 47.1 1.28 37 40 42 44 33 34 38 44


Airbus Dual 37 203 19 20 21 23 18 18 19 27

A320-100 68 000 47.1 1.34 39 41 43 45 35 36 40 46


Airbus Dual 39 700 20 22 23 24 19 19 20 23

A320-100 68 000 47.1 1.12 18 21 24 28 18 19 23 32


Dual Tandem 40 243 9 10 12 14 9 10 11 14

A320-200 73 500 47.0 1.45 44 46 48 50 38 40 44 50


ACN for ACN for
Rigid pavement subgrade - MN/m3 Flexible pavement subgrade - CBR
Aircraft All-up Load on Tyre Ultra Very
Type mass one main pressure High Medium Low low High Medium Low low
gear leg (MPa) 150 80 40 20 15 10 6 3
(kg) (%)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Airbus Dual 39 748 20 22 23 25 19 19 20 24

A320-200 73 500 47.0 1.21 18 22 26 30 19 21 26 35


Dual Tandem 40 291 9 10 11 13 9 10 11 14

BAC 1-11 39 690 47.5 0.93 25 26 28 29 22 24 27 29


Series 400 22 498 13 13 14 15 11 12 13 15

BAC 1-11 44 679 47.5 0.57 22 25 27 28 19 24 28 31


Series 475 23 451 10 11 12 13 9 10 12 15

BAC 1-11 47 400 47.5 1.08 32 34 35 36 29 30 33 35


Series 500 24 757 15 16 16 17 13 13 15 17

BAe 146 37 308 46.0 0.80 18 20 22 23 17 18 20 24


Series 100 23 000 10 11 12 13 10 10 11 13

BAe 146 37 308 46.0 0.52 16 18 19 21 13 16 19 23


Series 100 23 000 9 10 11 12 8 9 11 13

BAe 146 40 600 47.1 0.88 22 23 25 26 19 21 23 27


Series 200 23 000 11 12 13 14 10 10 11 13

BAe 146 40 600 47.1 0.61 19 21 23 24 16 20 22 27


Series 200 23 000 10 11 12 12 8 10 11 13

B707-120B 117 027 46.7 1.17 28 33 39 46 31 34 41 54


57 833 12 12 15 17 13 14 15 20

B707-320B 148 778 46.0 1.24 38 46 54 62 42 47 57 72


64 764 13 14 17 20 15 15 17 22

B707-320C 152 407 46.7 1.24 40 48 57 66 44 49 60 76


(Freighter) 61 463 13 14 16 19 14 15 17 21

B707-320C 152 407 46.7 1.24 40 48 57 66 44 49 60 76


(Convertible) 67 269 14 15 18 21 16 17 19 24

B707-320/420 143 335 46.0 1.24 36 43 52 59 40 44 54 69


64 682 13 14 17 20 15 15 17 22

B720 104 326 47.4 1.00 25 30 37 42 29 31 39 51


50 258 10 11 13 16 11 12 14 18

B720 B 106 594 46.4 1.00 25 30 37 42 29 31 39 51


52 163 10 11 13 16 11 12 14 18

B727-100 77 110 47.6 1.14 46 48 51 53 41 43 49 54


41 322 22 23 25 26 20 20 22 26

B727-100C 73 028 47.8 1.09 43 45 48 50 39 40 46 51


41 322 22 23 25 26 20 21 22 26

B727-200 78 471 48.5 1.15 48 50 53 56 43 45 51 56


(Standard) 44 293 24 26 27 29 22 23 25 29

B727-200 84 005 48.0 1.02 49 52 55 58 45 48 55 60


(Advanced) 44 270 23 24 26 28 21 22 24 29

B727-200 86 636 47.7 1.06 51 54 58 60 47 50 56 61


(Advanced) 44 347 23 25 26 28 22 22 24 28

B727-200 89 675 46.9 1.15 54 57 60 62 49 51 58 63


(Advanced) 44 470 23 25 27 28 21 22 24 28

B727-200 95 254 46.5 1.19 58 61 64 67 52 55 62 66


ACN for ACN for
Rigid pavement subgrade - MN/m3 Flexible pavement subgrade - CBR
Aircraft All-up Load on Tyre Ultra Very
Type mass one main pressure High Medium Low low High Medium Low low
gear leg (MPa) 150 80 40 20 15 10 6 3
(kg) (%)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

(Advanced) 45 677 24 25 27 29 22 22 25 29

B737-100 44 361 46.2 0.95 23 24 26 27 20 22 24 28


26 581 12 13 14 15 12 12 13 15

B737-200 45 722 46.4 0.97 24 25 27 29 22 23 26 30


27 170 13 14 15 16 12 12 14 16

B737-200 52 616 45.5 1.14 29 31 32 34 26 27 30 34


27 125 13 14 15 16 12 12 13 15

B737-200 52 616 45.5 0.66 24 26 28 30 21 25 29 34


27 125 11 12 13 14 10 11 13 15

B737-200/200C 53 297 46.4 1.16 30 32 34 35 27 28 31 36


(Advanced) 29 257 15 16 17 18 14 14 15 17

B737-200/200C 56 699 46.3 1.23 33 34 36 38 29 30 34 38


(Advanced) 28 985 15 16 17 18 14 14 15 17

B737-200 58 332 46.0 1.25 34 36 38 39 30 31 35 39


(Advanced) 29 620 15 16 17 18 14 14 15 17

B737-300 61 462 45.9 1.34 37 39 41 42 32 33 37 41


32 904 18 18 20 21 16 16 17 20

B737-300 61 462 45.9 1.14 35 37 39 41 31 33 37 41


32 904 17 18 19 20 15 16 17 20

B737-400 64 864 46.9 1.44 41 43 45 47 35 37 41 45


33 643 19 20 21 22 16 17 18 21

B737-500 * 60 781 46.1 1.34 37 38 40 42 32 33 37 41


31 312 17 17 19 19 15 15 16 19

B747-100 323 410 23.4 1.50 41 48 57 65 44 48 58 77


162 385 17 19 22 25 19 20 22 28

B747-100B 334 749 23.1 1.56 43 50 59 68 46 50 60 80


173 036 18 20 24 28 20 21 24 30

B747-100B 341 553 23.1 1.32 41 49 58 68 46 51 62 82


171 870 17 19 22 26 20 21 23 30

B747-100B 260 362 24.1 1.04 27 32 40 47 33 36 43 59


SR 164 543 16 17 21 25 19 20 23 30

B747SP 302 093 22.9 1.30 35 42 51 59 40 44 52 71


147 716 14 16 19 22 17 17 19 25

B747SP 318 881 21.9 1.40 37 44 52 60 41 45 54 72


147 996 14 15 18 21 16 17 18 23

B747-200B 352 893 23.6 1.37 45 53 64 73 50 55 67 88


172 886 18 20 24 28 21 22 24 31

B747-200C 373 305 23.1 1.30 46 55 66 76 52 57 70 92


166 749 16 18 21 25 19 20 22 29

B747-200F/300 379 201 23.2 1.39 47 57 68 78 53 59 73 94


156 642 16 17 20 24 18 19 21 26

B747-400 395 987 23.4 1.41 53 63 75 85 57 64 79 101


178 459 19 21 25 29 21 22 25 32

B757-200 109 316 45.2 1.17 27 32 38 44 29 32 39 52


ACN for ACN for
Rigid pavement subgrade - MN/m3 Flexible pavement subgrade - CBR
Aircraft All-up Load on Tyre Ultra Very
Type mass one main pressure High Medium Low low High Medium Low low
gear leg (MPa) 150 80 40 20 15 10 6 3
(kg) (%)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

60 260 12 14 17 19 14 14 17 22

B767-200 143 789 46.2 1.31 33 38 46 54 37 40 47 65


78 976 15 17 20 24 18 19 21 26

B767-200-ER 159 755 46.9 1.21 37 44 54 63 43 47 57 77


80 853 16 18 21 25 19 19 22 28

B767-300 159 665 47.5 1.21 38 45 54 63 43 48 58 78


86 070 17 19 23 27 20 21 24 32

B767-300-ER 172 819 46.9 1.31 43 51 61 71 48 53 65 86


87 926 18 20 24 28 21 22 24 32

B767-300-ER 185 520 46.0 1.38 47 56 66 76 51 57 70 92


88 470 18 20 24 28 21 22 24 31

Caravelle 52 000 46.1 0.75 15 17 20 22 15 17 19 23


Series 10 29 034 7 8 9 10 7 7 9 11

Caravelle 55 960 46.0 0.88 16 19 22 25 17 19 21 26


Series 12 31 800 8 9 10 12 8 9 10 12

Concorde 185 066 48.0 1.26 61 71 82 91 65 72 81 98


78 698 21 22 25 29 21 22 26 32

Canadair 95 708 47.5 1.12 25 30 35 40 27 30 36 47


CL 44 40 370 9 10 11 13 9 10 11 14

Convair 87 770 46.6 1.03 26 31 36 41 27 31 36 44


880 M 40 195 9 10 12 14 10 10 12 15

Convair 115 666 48.5 1.28 41 48 54 60 40 45 53 64


990 54 685 15 17 19 22 15 16 19 24

DC-3 11 430 46.8 0.31 6 7 7 7 4 6 8 9


7 767 4 5 5 5 3 4 5 6

DC-4 33 113 46.8 0.53 13 15 17 18 11 14 16 20


22 075 8 9 10 11 7 9 10 12

DC-8-43 144 242 46.5 1.22 41 49 57 65 43 49 59 74


61 919 15 16 18 21 15 16 18 23

DC-8-55 148 778 47.0 1.30 45 53 62 69 46 53 63 78


62 716 15 16 19 22 15 16 18 24

DC-8-61/71 148 778 48.0 1.30 46 54 63 71 48 54 64 80


68 992 17 19 22 25 18 19 21 28

DC-8-62/72 160 121 46.5 1.29 47 56 65 73 49 56 67 83


65 025 15 16 19 22 16 16 18 24

DC-8-63/73 162 386 47.6 1.34 50 60 69 78 52 59 71 87


72 002 17 19 23 26 18 19 22 29

DC-9-15 41 504 46.2 0.90 23 25 26 28 21 22 26 28


22 300 11 12 13 14 10 11 12 14

DC-9-21 45 813 47.2 0.98 27 29 30 32 24 26 29 32


23 879 12 13 14 15 11 12 13 15

DC-9-32 49 442 46.2 1.07 29 31 33 34 26 28 31 34


25 789 14 15 15 16 12 13 14 16

DC-9-41 52 163 46.7 1.10 32 34 35 37 28 30 33 37


ACN for ACN for
Rigid pavement subgrade - MN/m3 Flexible pavement subgrade - CBR
Aircraft All-up Load on Tyre Ultra Very
Type mass one main pressure High Medium Low low High Medium Low low
gear leg (MPa) 150 80 40 20 15 10 6 3
(kg) (%)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

27 821 15 16 17 18 13 14 15 18

DC-9-51 55 338 47.0 1.17 35 37 39 40 31 32 36 39


29 336 17 17 18 19 15 15 16 19

MD-81 63 957 47.8 1.17 41 43 45 46 36 38 43 46


35 571 20 21 23 24 18 19 21 24

MD-82/88 68 266 47.6 1.27 45 47 49 50 39 42 46 50


35 629 21 22 24 25 18 19 20 24

MD-83 73 023 47.4 1.34 49 51 53 55 42 46 50 54


36 230 21 22 24 25 18 19 21 24

MD-87 68 266 47.4 1.27 45 47 49 50 39 42 46 50


33 965 19 21 22 23 17 18 19 22

DC-10-10 196 406 47.2 1.28 45 52 63 73 52 57 68 93


108 940 23 25 28 33 26 27 30 38

DC-10-10 200 942 46.9 1.31 46 54 64 75 54 58 69 96


105 279 22 24 27 31 24 25 28 36

DC-10-15 207 746 46.7 1.34 48 56 67 74 55 61 72 100


105 279 22 24 27 31 24 25 28 36

DC-10-30/40 253 105 37.7 1.17 44 53 64 75 53 59 70 97


120 742 20 21 24 28 22 23 25 32

DC-10-30/40 260 816 37.6 1.21 46 55 67 78 56 61 74 101


124 058 20 21 25 29 23 23 26 33

DC-10-30/40 268 981 37.9 1.24 49 59 71 83 59 64 78 106


124 058 20 21 25 29 23 23 26 33

MD-11 274 650 39.2 1.41 56 66 79 92 64 70 85 114


127 000 23 25 28 32 25 26 29 37

DCH 7 19 867 46.8 0.74 11 12 13 13 10 11 12 14


DASH 7 11 793 6 6 7 7 5 6 6 8

FOKKER 27 19 777 47.5 0.54 10 11 12 12 8 10 12 13


Mk500 11 879 5 6 6 7 4 5 6 7

FOKKER 50 20 820 47.8 0.59/ 10 11 12 13 8 10 12 14


HTP 12 649 0.55 6 6 7 7 5 5 6 8

FOKKER 50 20 820 47.8 0.41 9 10 11 12 6 9 11 14


LTP 12 649 5 5 6 7 4 5 6 8

FOKKER 28 29 484 46.3 0.58 14 15 17 18 11 14 16 19


Mk1000LTP 15 650 6 7 8 9 5 6 7 9

FOKKER 28 29 484 46.3 0.69 15 16 18 18 13 15 17 20


Mk1000HTP 16 550 8 8 9 10 6 7 8 10

FOKKER 100 44 680 47.8 0.98 28 29 31 32 25 27 30 32


24 375 13 14 15 16 12 13 14 16

HS125-400A 10 600 45.5 0.77 6 6 7 7 5 5 6 7


-400B 5 683 3 3 6 3 2 3 3 3

HS125-600A 11 340 45.5 0.83 7 7 7 8 5 6 7 8


-600B 5 683 3 3 3 3 2 3 3 3

HS748 21 092 43.6 0.59 10 11 11 12 8 9 11 13


ACN for ACN for
Rigid pavement subgrade - MN/m3 Flexible pavement subgrade - CBR
Aircraft All-up Load on Tyre Ultra Very
Type mass one main pressure High Medium Low low High Medium Low low
gear leg (MPa) 150 80 40 20 15 10 6 3
(kg) (%)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

12 183 5 5 6 6 4 5 6 7

IL-62 162 600 47.0 1.08 42 50 60 69 47 54 64 79


66 400 14 15 18 20 16 17 18 24

IL-62M 168 000 47.0 1.08 43 52 62 71 50 57 67 83


71 400 16 17 19 22 17 18 20 26

IL-76T 171 000 23.5 0.64 38 38 38 39 37 40 45 53


83 800 11 14 16 16 15 16 18 22

IL-86 209 500 31.2 0.88 25 31 38 46 34 36 43 61


111 000 13 14 16 19 16 17 19 23

L-100-20 70 670 48.2 0.72 30 33 36 38 27 31 33 38


34 205 14 15 16 17 12 14 15 16

L-100-30 70 670 48.4 0.72 30 33 36 38 27 31 33 39


34 701 14 15 16 17 12 14 15 17
10. ACN Charts For Various Aircraft

AIRCRAFT: B 747 400


ACN FLEXIBLE PAVEMENT

120

100

80
ACN

60

40

20

0
150 200 250 300 350 400 450
Thousands
Aircraft w eight Kg

A B C D

Main Gear Tyre Pressure 1410KPa

ACN RIGID PAVEMENT

100

80

60
ACN

40

20

0
150 200 250 300 350 400 450
Thousands
Aircraft w eight Kg
AIRCRAFT: A 300B
ACN FLEXIBLE PAVEMENT

80

60
ACN

40

20

0
60 80 100 120 140 160
Thousands
Aircraft w eight Kg

A B C D

Main Gear Tyre Pressure 1230KPa

ACN RIGID PAVEMENT

70

60

50
ACN

40

30

20

10
60 80 100 120 140 160
Thousands
Aircraft w eight Kg
AIRCRAFT: A 310-300 153T
ACN FLEXIBLE PAVEMENT

100

80

60
ACN

40

20

0
60 80 100 120 140 160
Thousands
Aircraft w eight Kg

A B C D

Main Gear Tyre Pressure 1400KPa

ACN RIGID PAVEMENT

80

60
ACN

40

20

0
60 80 100 120 140 160
Thousands
Aircraft w eight Kg
AIRCRAFT: B 727-200
ACN FLEXIBLE PAVEMENT

60

50
ACN

40

30

20
40 50 60 70 80 90
Thousands
Aircraft w eight Kg

A B C D

Main Gear Tyre Pressure 1150KPa

ACN RIGID PAVEMENT

60

50
ACN

40

30

20
40 50 60 70 80 90
Thousands
Aircraft w eight Kg
AIRCRAFT: Concorde
ACN FLEXIBLE PAVEMENT

120

100

80
ACN

60

40

20

0
60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200
Thousands
Aircraft w eight Kg

A B C D

Main Gear Tyre Pressure 1260MPa

ACN RIGID PAVEMENT

100

80

60
ACN

40

20

0
60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200
Thousands
Aircraft w eight Kg
AIRCRAFT: B 747-100
ACN FLEXIBLE PAVEMENT

80

60
ACN

40

20

0
150 200 250 300 350
Thousands
Aircraft w eight Kg

A B C D

Main Gear Tyre Pressure 1500MPa

ACN RIGID PAVEMENT

80

60
ACN

40

20

0
150 200 250 300 350
Thousands
Aircraft w eight Kg
AIRCRAFT: A 300-200 B2
ACN FLEXIBLE PAVEMENT

80

60
ACN

40

20

0
80 100 120 140 160
Thousands
Aircraft w eight Kg

A B C D

Main Gear Tyre Pressure 1290MPa

ACN RIGID PAVEMENT

70

60

50
ACN

40

30

20

10
80 100 120 140 160
Thousands
Aircraft w eight Kg
AIRCRAFT: DC 10-40
ACN FLEXIBLE PAVEMENT

120

100

80
ACN

60

40

20

0
100 150 200 250 300
Thousands
Aircraft w eight Kg

A B C D

Main Gear Tyre Pressure 1240MPa

ACN RIGID PAVEMENT

70

60

50
ACN

40

30

20

10
100 150 200 250 300
Thousands
Aircraft w eight Kg
AIRCRAFT: DC 10-10
ACN FLEXIBLE PAVEMENT

100

80
ACN

60

40

20
100 120 140 160 180 200 220
Thousands
Aircraft w eight Kg

A B C D

Main Gear Tyre Pressure 1310MPa

ACN RIGID PAVEMENT

80

60
ACN

40

20

0
100 120 140 160 180 200 220
Thousands
Aircraft w eight Kg
AIRCRAFT: DC 8-63
ACN FLEXIBLE PAVEMENT

100

80

60
ACN

40

20

0
60 80 100 120 140 160 180
Thousands
Aircraft w eight Kg

A B C D

Main Gear Tyre Pressure 1340MPa

ACN RIGID PAVEMENT

100

80

60
ACN

40

20

0
60 80 100 120 140 160 180
Thousands
Aircraft w eight Kg

A document named Aerodrome Pavement Concession System – An Explanation for Aerodrome Operators
was previously published by the Commonwealth Department of Transport and Communications. This
Department is now named the Department of Transport and Regional Services and on request may provide
the above document. This document provides a expanded listing of the charts detailed above.
10.1 PAVEMENT STRENGTH CLASSIFICATION THE ICAO ACN / PCN METHOD

An Australian Perspective.

10.2 BACKGROUND

In 1974 the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) called for the development of a single
internationally accepted method of reporting pavement strength. An ICAO study group (Australia was
represented by Mr Don Hayman) looked at various methods, and through its work the Aircraft Classification
Number / Pavement Classification Number (ACN / PCN) method was proposed as an amendment to Annex
14 (the ICAO document which contains international standards and recommended practices relating to
aerodromes). The method is fully described in ICAO's Aerodrome Design Manual, Document 9157-AN/901
Part 3, PAVEMENTS, Chapter 1, entitled Procedures for Reporting Pavement Strength.

The amendment to Annex 14 became effective on 24th July 1981. The ACN / PCN method is an ICAO
standard and is now used by about 75% of the world's airports. It replaced four different methods that had
been in use by various ICAO member States for some time.

ICAO formed another international pavements committee in 1993 to review the ACN / PCN rating system,
particularly as applied to new and future large aircraft such as the Boeing 777. The committee consists of
pavement specialists from Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, US FAA, IATA, Airports Council International,
Canada, France, the UK, the Netherlands and Australia. Mr Bruce Rodway represented Australia on this
committee that was established as Boeing felt that the ACN calculated for the B-777 did not reflect the
impact of that aircraft’s gear configuration on aircraft pavements.

10.3 THE ICAO RATING SYSTEM

The ACN / PCN system is the means by which airport owners and operators regulate the use of their
pavements having regard to pavement strength and maintenance strategies in relation to revenue from
landing fees. New runways are usually designed to last for 15 to 20 years under the expected aircraft traffic
before needing major maintenance such as an asphalt overlay. An amount of minor routine maintenance is
expected to be necessary during the life of the pavement. Airport owners are free to design the pavements
by any method they choose, and are also free to assign a load rating of their choice. Airport operators
publish a PCN and a subgrade strength category. The aircraft manufacturers provide the aircraft operators,
with aircraft load data. This is in the form of an ACN for all possible aircraft operating weights. If the
aircraft's ACN at its intended operating weight is less than the PCN of the pavement it is assured of access
to the airport subject to the tyre pressure also being below the published value. If the ACN is greater than
the PCN, however, access is at the discretion of the airport owner. The airport owner may allow unrestricted
operations at a requested operating weight, or may restrict the frequency of operations or may refuse
access. These permits to operate an aircraft with an ACN that is higher than the PCN are termed Pavement
Concessions. The owners may require that the aircraft operate at a lower load, thereby reducing the
aircraft's ACN to an acceptable number. This would also reduce the aircraft's earning capacity. The airport
owner can take into account any likely additional maintenance cost or reduced pavement life (ie reduced
time between asphalt overlays) that might result from overload operations and balance these and other
factors against the extra revenue obtained through landing charges.

The aircraft manufacturer must be calculate an ACN using a fixed technical method and is intended to
indicate the relative pavement damaging effect of each aircraft. An aircraft’s weight, its wheel layout, its tyre
pressure and the subgrade strength fix an aircraft’s ACN. The airport owner has no say in what the ACN of
an aircraft is as it is a technical fact. By contrast, the PCN functions as a pavement management tool, and
its selection is largely a business decision. Airport operators have considerable scope in rating their
pavements and should take into account the observed performance of aircraft pavements under aircraft of
known ACNs if such information is available. They should also take into account the thickness and strength
of their pavements. The airport owner should have regard to the size and numbers of aircraft he wishes to
attract to his airport, and also take into account the amount he are prepared to spend to maintain the
pavements. The airport owner can, for example raise the PCN of the pavements to allow unrestricted access
of a new heavier aircraft if he wishes, and consciously accept the fact that the pavement maintenance bill
may increase as a result of the heavier aircraft using the pavements.

10.4 HOW TO CALCULATE AN ACN

The case of flexible pavements will be used for illustration but similar principles apply to concrete
pavements. In order to describe the method it is necessary to first define the Pass to Coverage Ratio (PCR)
because the amount of damage to the pavement does not depend upon the number of aircraft that pass
along it, but upon the coverages. A point on the pavement surface is said to receive a coverage when any
part of a tyre's contact area passes over it. The PCR is defined as the number of passes of an aircraft that
is statistically required for the most frequently covered point on the pavement to receive one coverage. The
PCR depends upon wheel configuration, tyre width and the degree of aircraft wander about the pavement
centreline. For example, the PCR for a B747 on a taxiway is about 1.7 whereas that of a Fokker F-28 is
about 3.5. That is, the most frequently 'hit' point on the taxiway is about twice as likely to be hit when a 747
passes as it is when an F-28 passes along the taxiway. To explain the ACN calculation it is also necessary
to first define the Equivalent Single Wheel Load (ESWL), which is the load on a single wheel that will cause
pavement damage equal to that caused by the aircraft's actual multiwheel gear at its actual gear load. An
aircraft's ACN is a number expressing the pavement damage caused by the aircraft relative to that caused
by other aircraft. The number depends not only upon the operating mass of the aircraft and its tyre pressure,
but also upon the pavement subgrade strength. Airport owners and pilots obtain the ACN of an aircraft from
published tables or graphs. An aircraft has many ACNs, for example, the ACN for a Boeing 747-200 ranges
from 18 when it is operating empty on a rigid pavement over high strength subgrade to 92 when it is
operating full on a flexible pavement overlaying a very low strength subgrade. The corresponding range of
ACNs for a Douglas DC-3 is 4 to 9.

Few people if ever need to calculate an ACN from first principles. To do this involves doing a full pavement
thickness design using a specific pavement design method. In the case of flexible pavements, it is the CBR.
based method as detailed in Instruction Report S-77-1, Procedures for Development of CBR Design Curves
by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It is necessary to know the mass, the tyre pressure and the wheel
arrangement of the aircraft. Because ACNs are reported for four subgrade strengths, represented by CBR
values of 3, 6, 10 and 15, the thicknesses of flexible pavement required for 10,000 coverages of the aircraft
(Note: Not unlimited coverages) over CBR values of 3, 6, 10 and 15 must all be calculated. These
thicknesses are referred to as reference thicknesses.

Once the reference thickness is known, the four ACN values for a particular aircraft weight are then read
from the figure below.
The figure above is simply a CBR design chart which gives the Pavement Thickness required
for 10,000 coverages, computed using the Corps' S-77-1 method, for single wheel loadings of 1.25 MPa
tyres. Only results for CBR values 3, 6, 10 and 15 are included on the chart. The design method assumes
that the deflection at subgrade level is an indicator of pavement damage. That is, it is assumed that the rate
at which ruts develop at the pavement surface depends upon the magnitude of the load-induced deflections
at subgrade level. Thus the above figure gives the load required on a single wheel inflated to 1.25 MPa
which would produce the same deflection at subgrade level as would the actual multiwheeled aircraft at its
actual load. This load is termed the Derived Single Wheel Load (DSWL). The ACN of an aircraft is defined
as twice the derived single wheel load, expressed in thousands of kilograms. No special significance should
be attached to the factor of two as it is just an arbitrary scaling factor.

10.5 HOW TO RATE A PAVEMENT

In contrast to an aircraft, which has a variety of ACNs depending upon its weight, tyre pressure, subgrade
strength and pavement type (rigid or flexible), a pavement has just one Pavement Classification Number
(PCN). The airport owner is free to rate aircraft pavements by any method. In selecting a PCN owner
should consider not only the pavement strength and condition, but the size and number of aircraft the owner
wishes to accommodate over the pavement's design life, and also his pavement maintenance strategy.
Guidance to the rating of pavements is provided in Chapter 3 of the ICAO Aerodrome Design Manual, which
deals with pavement evaluation.

The ACN / PCN method does not constrain designers to use any particular method to design pavements.
However, the Corps' S-77-1 design method must be used to compute an ACN, and the concept of derived
single wheel load is an inherent part of that method. Thus the significance of a PCN is best explained in
terms of the Corp's design method. Taking the simple case of a pavement used by one aircraft type, a PCN
of 60 would mean that, according to the Corps of Engineers design method, the pavement would sustain
10,000 coverages of an aircraft of ACN of 60 before becoming unacceptably rutted. If aircraft using the
facility have lower ACNs, the pavement will sustain more than 10,000 coverages before deteriorating to the
same rutted condition, and conversely, will sustain fewer than 10,000 if aircraft with ACNs greater than 60
use it.

The most common mistake made in rating runways is to think that only the actual pavement thickness and
the subgrade CBR need be known. When this is done, the actual thickness is treated incorrectly as a
reference thickness and an ACN is read from the figure above. The ACN is then adopted as the PCN of the
pavement. This is wrong! If the pavement has been designed, its thickness has been made sufficiently large
to cater for all the aircraft that are expected to use the runway during the design period, typically the 15 to 20
years between resurfacing. That is, the thickness depends upon both the sizes and numbers of all the
expected aircraft. To illustrate the rating error, consider the simple situation of a pavement designed to cater
for 100,000 coverages of a B737-400 at 50 tonnes. The required pavement thickness (ie the design
thickness) over a CBR 6 subgrade is about 780mm. The required thickness for 10,000 coverages is only
630mm (which is, by definition the reference thickness). The figure above tells us that the ACN for a
reference thickness of 630mm over CBR 6 (Code C subgrade) is 30. We could also have got this by looking
up the ACN chart for the B737-400. If, however we confused the design thickness with the reference
thickness we would read from the above figure an ACN of 45 for a thickness of 780mm. An ACN of 45
corresponds to a B767 at 135 tonnes; a far more damaging aircraft than the pavement was designed to
cater for. So to rate the runway as PCN 45 would be to invite unrestricted use by the B767 and other
comparable aircraft, and the intended pavement life would be much shortened. The correct rating for the
pavement would be PCN 30, equal to the ACN of the aircraft it was designed to serve.

10.6 LIMITATIONS OF ACN / PCN

Equal coverages (not passes) of aircraft that have the same ACN are expected to cause equal pavement
damage. The relative damage caused by each aircraft is not, however, proportional to the ACNs. For
example, an aircraft of ACN 24 does not cause twice the damage of an aircraft of ACN 12. Therefore the
ACN / PCN method provides no means of directly quantifying the effect on pavement life of a mix of aircraft,
nor does it directly quantify the effect of overloading. This is recognised as a limitation of the system. A
number of investigators have devised techniques to overcome this limitation and to enable airport managers
to assess the relative effects of various aircraft on a pavement in terms of the amount of pavement life that
is consumed by each passage of each aircraft.

For example, the relative damage can be calculated using the method of layered elastic analysis. This has
been done for a pavement with a PCN of 42 on a subgrade CBR of 6. Using the computer program APSDS,
and the damage due to each aircraft relative to that caused by each pass of the Dash-8 is given in the last
column of the table below, which also gives the ACN and PCR of each aircraft.

Aircraft Mass (Tonnes) ACN PCR Relative Damage

B737 65T (near maximum) 41 3.7 10,000


B737 55T 33 3.9 3,000
DC9 62T 42 3.4 9,000
DC9 50T 32 3.8 2,000
B727 95T (maximum) 62 2.9 120,000
B727 68T 42 3.4 11,000
BAel46 45T (maximum) 27 3.7 800
BAel46 41T 24 3.9 500
F-28 33T (maximum) 20 3.5 200
F-50 20T (maximum) 11 4.1 5
Dash 8 15.5T (maximum) 9.5 5.4 1
B767 128T 42 2.0 27,000
B747 255T 42 2.2 26,000
B747 397T (maximum) 76 1.7 560,000

10.7 THE ACN REFERS ONLY TO RUTTING

An ACN is calculated using the Corp's CBR design method. This method assumes a failure mode that
consists of surface rutting caused by overstressing the subgrade. Design life is considered to have expired
when the surface ruts to an extent where it is unacceptably rough for aircraft traffic, or fails to shed water,
thereby leading to loss of friction and possibly aquaplaning. The pavement is then typically resurfaced with
asphalt and the design life begins again. Pavement failure due to fatigue cracking of the bituminous
surfacing layer, or cracking of other bound layers, or deformation within the surface and basecourse layers is
not addressed by the method, and must be separately considered by the designer.

10.8 LOAD RATING SYSTEM OR DESIGN METHOD

The ACN / PCN method should be recognised to be an aircraft load rating system. It is not a pavement
design system. The ACN of an aircraft is not pavement specific. In other words it does not depend upon
the detailed makeup of the pavement structure; whether it is made of high quality fine crushed rock, or
natural gravel, whether it has a thick asphalt surface or a simple sprayed seal. It is a function only of the
weight, tyre pressure and wheel arrangement of the aircraft, and the CBR of the subgrade. The simplicity of
the ACN / PCN rating system is possible only because the CBR design method does not depend upon the
detailed structure of the pavement. Where the critical failure mechanism is fatigue of the asphalt surfacing
layer or cracking of other bound layers, the damage caused by an aircraft depends very much upon the
detailed structure of the pavement in question and separate specific design attention should be given to the
problem. Also, the airport owner should take account of the detailed structure of the pavement when
deciding the PCN to adopt and publish. In other words, the details of a pavement's structure do not affect
the ACN but should affect the PCN because the selection of a PCN is a design matter.

10.9 SIGNIFICANCE OF OVERLOAD


Except for extreme overload situations the risk to an aircraft is minimal, whereas the rate of deterioration of a
pavement will be increased above the design intent by any overloads, particularly where high frequencies
are involved. The ACN / PCN system functions in practice as a pavement management tool for an airport
owner, not to protect aircraft. As stated earlier, an owner might allow a particular aircraft to use the airport
only if it operates at a restricted weight, and/or at reduced tyre pressure and/or at a limited frequency.
Permanent concessions are often granted to allow aircraft with an ACN higher than the PCN to use a
pavement for commercial reasons.

11. PAVEMENT CONCESSIONS RPA guidance extract.

A pavement concession is a privilege which may be granted to an aeroplane operator allowing the landing,
take-off , taxiing or parking of an aeroplane on a runway, taxiway or apron which would not otherwise be
available. It is an instrument of pavement management, enabling an aircraft to load an aircraft pavement
beyond the rated load capacity under specific conditions generally related to aircraft tyre pressure, mass and
frequency of operations, and the condition of pavement and subgrade.

Aerodrome runways, taxiways and aprons are designed to be able to withstand a specific number of
loadings by the critical aircraft (of designated mass and tyre pressure), without needing major pavement
maintenance. The need may arise to permit aircraft operations imposing more severe loadings an the
pavement than the design loading, for instance, for commercial considerations such as the introduction of
new aircraft types to the aerodrome or for special transport requirements such as disaster relief and medical
evacuations.

The aerodrome operator is responsible for determining in each case whether a pavement concession is to
be granted and any special conditions applicable. There is no mandatory requirement for an aerodrome
operator to grant a pavement concession.
In normal circumstances the issue of pavement concessions is based on economic considerations. The
aerodrome operator should weigh the advantage to be derived from allowing some pavement overload (e.g.
extra revenue, humanitarian gain or political advantage), against the penalties involved (e.g. pavement repair
or the need to carry out maintenance earlier than would otherwise be the case) , and decide accordingly.
The handling and issue of pavement concessions is to be in accordance with the procedures set out below.

12. Pavement types, rating and design philosophy

The majority of Australian aerodrome pavements are classified as flexible because they are designed to
deflect under load conditions and then rebound when the load is removed. They consist of one or =re layers
of mechanically compacted granular material with a bituminous spray seal or bituminous concrete surfacing.
The pavement materials can vary considerably from natural gravel’s to manufactured fine crushed rock.
Rigid Portland cement or concrete pavements, designed not to flex under the load imposed by large
transport aircraft, are usually confined to aprons at major aerodromes where static loading imposes a much
greater load penalty on the pavement.
Three major factors determine the life of a properly designed and constructed pavement: the size of the load
imposed, the number of times that the load is imposed, and the strength of the subgrade. These factors are
inter-related and are influenced by external conditions (principally the weather) at individual aerodromes. A
pavement designed for a particular magnitude of aircraft loading and number of times it is
subjected to this load is normally equally suitable for more severe loading at a reduced number of
movements or less severe loading at an increased number of movements. Further, during periods of low
rainfall the subgrade is generally drier, and subgrade strengths correspondingly higher, than the design
value. As a result, the pavements have greater strength than their design values, at those times.

To identify the strength of a pavement, the Aircraft Classification Number - Pavement Classification Number
(ACN- PCN) method is to be adopted. The pavement strength rating lists the PCN, pavement type (rigid or
flexible), subgrade strength category, minimum allowable tyre pressure and evaluation type (subjective or
experienced). The published rating (see AIP/AGA-3) implies the pavement is adequate for unrestricted
operations of the design aircraft. operations by aircraft imposing more severe loadings on the pavement than
are allowed by the pavement rating are not permitted without a pavement concession.

13. Pavement overload

Aircraft can impose loads on pavements outside the pavement rating limits in either of two ways : the aircraft
tyre pressure can be above the maximum allowable, or the ACN can be above the PCN while the pressure
is equal to or below the maximum allowable.

Pavement damage in the form of surface rutting may occur from excessive tyre pressure.

Excessive wheel loads may result in pavement failures such as a general loss of shape or large saucer-
shaped depressions.

14. Concession decision criteria

An application for an aircraft to operate outside the limits allowed by a pavement rating usually involves
assessment of the following factors.

To ensure the safety of the operation where the proposed overloading of a pavement is so great that
damage to the aircraft is likely to the extent that the safety of the occupants is in doubt, a pavement
concession is not to be approved regardless of the circumstances.

The probability of pavement damage should be assessed considering:

the operating mass and tyre pressure, and the type of the critical design aircraft;

pavement field test data;

current pavement conditions;

history of pavement performance under normal and concession use including any damage caused
by previous operations;

whether the proposed operations are far a single operation, and of long term or short term duration;

whether there has been recent prolonged rainfall causing loss of subgrade strength.

Assessment of the social and economic importance of the operation involves consideration of:

the availability of alternative aircraft which would not overload the pavement concerned;

humanitarian or compassionate reasons, e.g. urgent medical evacuation, flood or disaster relief;

the political desirability, e.g. Head of State visits, Ministerial flights, etc.;

significant commercial importance to the community;

essential or desirable military operations.

The consequences of any pavement damage may include:

cost of repair after pavement damage and source of funding;

resources available to repair any damage;

disruption to routine operations caused by any damage or repairs.


15. Approvals

Humanitarian flights should rarely be refused unless there is doubt about the safety of the operation.

Other flights are often approved if the financial consequences of increased maintenance, pavement
rehabilitation or strengthening together with the disruption to operations during repairs are acceptable.
Flights may also be allowed even where pavement damage is expected provided the aircraft operator has
agreed to pay the cost of repairs, and provided the disruption for repair (if needed) is acceptable.

Pavement concession format and procedures,

Where the aerodrome operator has decided to approve a pavement concession, this is to be done using the
following.

In order to achieve industry-wide standardisation, concessions are to be issued under one of the following
titles.

The 'ad hoc' pavement concession is to be used to cover a small number of operations, and issued on a
flight-by-flight basis, or covering several flights on the one concession.

The ‘standing’ pavement concession is to. be used to cover a relatively large number of operations carried
out over an extended period . They allow a specified number of Movements over a fixed period.

The 'schedule period' pavement concession is to be issued to airlines to provide a pavement concession for
the whole of the duration of a scheduling period. These often nominate the number of movements, based on
approved timetable schedules plus an allowance for special services.

The 'advisory' pavement concession is to be used, in response to requests for pavement concessions at
some future but unspecified date. The request is actioned, but issue of the pavement concession is delayed
pending advice of the actual date from the operator.

The handling of pavement concession requests is to follow existing industry procedures as set out below in
order to minimise overall administrative costs to the industry.

Requests for pavement Concessions are to be directed initially to the CASA Regional Office for the State
where the aircraft operator (or its Head Office) is based. The request is then to be forwarded to the operator
of the aerodrome concerned for decision. (Where the operator is CASA/DOT&RS the request is to be
forwarded to the Regional Office of the State where the aerodrome is located). Advice of the decision made
is to be referred back to the CASA Regional Office, for onward transmission to the aircraft operator.

At major airports aircraft operators often contact the aerodrome operator direct.

Comment.

This segment of the Diploma in Airport Management is a educational unit intended to acquaint prospective
aerodrome managers of the basic factors involved in the ACN-PCN method, (Aircraft Classification Number
– Pavement Classification Number).

It is not intended to enable aerodrome operators to make technical pavement evaluations. That is the
province of a experienced professional airport civil engineer, however it does provide guidelines which
enable judgments to be made, as to whether professional civil engineering advice is required.

If the pavement is not “dry to depth” , or the pavement seal is old and/or brittle, or shows any sign of
distress, it is highly advisable to seek professional civil engineering advise before issuing “pavement
concessions” .
Conclusion.

It should be realised that the concept of “pavement concessions” is largely a question of economics or in
some cases commercial reality for the aerodrome operator.

The “safety” of such operations remains, as usual, squarely in the domain of the aircraft owner/operator.

The information contained in this “text” must be considered as guidance material only.

As such TAFE MIDLAND .... the “college” accepts no liability should this text or other guidance material
noted herein, be interpreted wrongly or prove to be dated or incorrect.