Letter to Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Leadership Supporting FAA Airfield Pavement Technology Research
On behalf of the 450 members of the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA), we are writing to urge the committee to continue a vital program at the Federal Aviation Administration that provides critical research for airfield pavement technology. Included in the 2018 FAA reauthorization, Section 744 promotes industry-led research of pavement materials, training programs, demonstration projects, and furthers technology advancements. NSSGA is the voice of our nation’s aggregates industry, which operates over 9,000 facilities and employs over 100,000 people in high-paying jobs to source 2.5 billion tons of aggregates each year used to sustain our modern way of life and build our nation’s communities and infrastructure. The aggregates industry produces 100% of the material for the airfield pavement foundations, ~95% of the raw material in asphalt concrete overlays, and 70-85% of the cement concrete overlays, making stone aggregates the #1 material used in our aviation infrastructure. As such aggregate related research has been the subject of many research projects funded by Section 744, though not directly listed. For example, two $1 million awards from Section 744 funds for “Mitigating Potential Alkali-Silica Reaction Expansion in Airfield Concrete Pavements”, and “P-401 Mixtures: Aggregate Gradation Bands” were made in the past 2 years. The outcome of these projects will improve the existing FAA specifications for stone aggregate and thus the development of safer, more cost-effective, and more durable airfield pavements.