When viewed from the air, a major airport may look like a massive parking lot with a series of interconnected roads. Even a small airstrip may look more like a parking lot than an aerial transportation depot. However, airports of all sizes require an experienced, reliable contractor with excellent equipment and a highly qualified crew.
Airports – Special Requirements
Whether it is a runway used for planes that are landing and taking off, a gate terminal or a taxiway that planes use to travel on the ground, every pavement in the airport has been carefully engineered. The standards are exacting and specific.
Engineers must consider the weight of the planes that will be using the airport as well as the number of planes that will be taking off and landing. This helps them determine the correct runway length and the thickness of the pavement. For example, a Boeing 737-900 needs a runway that is up to 48 inches in thickness and at least 9,000 feet long for takeoffs. An airstrip that only has one or two Piper Cubs landing every week may be as thin as 10 inches and considerably shorter.
Once the engineers have calculated the proper thickness and length of the runway, they will then decide on the best material. They may choose asphalt, concrete or a combination of the two. Concrete is prized for its ability to support massive weights, but asphalt is valued for its smooth surface, economy and the speed with which it can be installed and repaired.
Why Airports Need Professional Maintenance
Whether landing, taking off or taxiing, airplanes need a smooth surface on which to travel. An uneven pavement or a break in the pavement could have serious consequences for the passengers as well as the aircraft. If the water does not drain properly from the runway, the aircraft could hydroplane and possibly veer from the pavement. Keeping runways in serviceable condition is an important task for the airport’s ground crew. They are vigilant about checking for debris, cracks or other issues that must be addressed before planes can continue to use the runway or taxiway. When a problem is found, it needs to be fixed immediately; closed runways can throw the entire schedule of landings and takeoffs into disarray.
Special Considerations for Airports
When airports need pavements built or repaired, they face a variety of challenges. Whether it is a major airport or a small airstrip, it cannot afford to have a runway closed indefinitely, but there are rules issued by the Federal Aviation Administration that require the airport to ensure that all pavements meet the minimum operational requirements. Speed becomes an issue, but corners cannot be cut. Airports seek paving contractors with superior reputations for quality and professionalism. They also need contractors who are willing to work with them to reduce the disruption that the work can cause.
Alpha Paving: The Right Choice for Your Airport
At Alpha Paving, we understand what airports need from their paving contractor. We are an award-winning, full-service company serving clients in most counties in Central Texas. We offer concrete services, sealcoating, asphalt paving, pavement markings, asphalt repairs, asphalt overlays and many other pavement services. Our outstanding reputation is based on delivering quality work and superior customer service with true professionalism. To request a free quote, you can either use the online form or call (512) 677-9001.