Alaska Rural Airport Inspection Program

Abstract and project information last updated: 1 March 2011. Project updates are dated below.

AUTC
Project
Number
309029
Principal
Investigator
David L. Barnes (UAF)
dlbarnes@alaska.edu
Funding
Agency

US Department of Transportation (RITA)

Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities

Project
Budget
160000
Start
Date
1 July 2009
Estimated
End Date
30 September 2011

Abstract

Freezing temperatures and weathering invariably affect runway conditions and equipment, requiring high levels of maintenance and added expense. To compound this issue, many runways in rural Alaska are unpaved, which leads to erosion and subsequent undermining that eventually can cause runway surface failure. As with any unpaved surface, routine inspection and maintenance are required; however, the remoteness of many Alaska villages results in infrequent thorough inspections. A comprehensive airport inspection program will improve transportation safety and reduce maintenance costs for Alaska’s transportation infrastructure, especially in rural areas where airports are the lifeline of the communities they serve. This project is developing and implementing an inspection program for Alaska’s rural airport infrastructure. Along with supporting long-term planning for airports and reducing maintenance costs, researchers are contributing to development of the state’s transportation workforce. This project involves civil engineering students with ADOT&PF, providing them with applied experience in transportation engineering. Students are learning to take proper field measurements and samples, to document the condition of the rural airports inspected, and to analyze field measurements, conduct the necessary laboratory tests on samples gathered in the field, and write reports.