Innovative Approach to Airfield Pavement Inspections and Distress Identification at Oakland International Airport
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Visual collection of surface distresses on airfield pavement in support of pavement management is becoming increasingly challenging for airports. Operational constraints limit access time for inspections on high priority pavements, and reductions in funding and operational staff resources lead to constraints in access to visually inspect pavements. Airports are increasingly relying on contractors and consultants to provide their own escorts, driving up the cost of Airport Pavement Management System (APMS) program. The use of high speed imagery for airfield pavement management is not a new concept. It has historically been limited in its ability to provide accurate distress data used to determine the Pavement Condition Index (PCI) in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Advisory Circular 150/5380-6B. The limitations and challenges have ranged from poor image quality to difficulty referencing images to the pavement management segmentation and sample units. This paper will review a case study with the most current technology completed at Oakland International Airport in California, USA that discusses an innovative approach to data collection, analyses and processing techniques using geospatial methods. This allowed the airport to benefit from highly specialized data collection equipment that generally is used to collect data for large roadway networks one lane wide, such as State highway networks, and report basic crack data summarized by milepost. Airfields require distress data at a more detailed level and also need the data to be presented across full pavement widths which can exceed ten times the width of a data collection pass in the case of runways. The airport was able to realize the benefits of this approach by quick data collection that reduced the operational impact and necessary pavement closures; high quality 3-D imagery that is now maintained as a permanent record of condition and displayed and accessible on their in-house GIS (Port View); 100 percent distress coverage on key pavement features; and improved maintenance plans.