CROW-Specifications for runway surface dressings on airfields

This report is meant to stimulate alternatives for tar-containing runway surface dressings; it can be used as a reference in contract situations. It starts with the description of a quality control system (development, production, application). In chapter 2 material specifications are given; chapter 3 contains all the functional specifications, including tests. In annex I and II two tests are described which can be used until standard European tests are published. Chapter 4 contains instructions for application.

Specification No. : D11-01

Date: 24-01-2011

Pages: 28

Order link: CROW-D11-01


Since July 1999 the use of road construction materials containing more than 75 mg/kg of the 10 most dangerous Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) is forbidden by law in the Netherlands.

However exception is made for coatings on airfield pavements in a Royal Decision on PAH containing coatings (April 6th, 1998). Based on this decision and the absence of proven alternatives at a similar price, in 2010 it is still more or less common practice in the Netherlands to coat runways and rapid exits on both military and civil airfields with a surface dressing called ANTISKID® produced by the company Possehl. As this ANTISKID®is made with a tar-based binder that contains to much PAH, the CROW’s Program Committee on Airfield Pavements is doing research to find alternatives for several years. A first report (nr. 04-11 in Dutch) was published in July 2004. The general conclusion was: there is no comparable alternative.

In 2009 another study group was started with the goal to write specifications for runway surface dressings on airfields, including the demands for quality control before, during and after application. This report is the result of this study. In this study the results from a PhD-study by Mr. Yue Xiaofrom China at the Delft University of Technology were used.

The study was done with financial and personal support from CROW, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, the Netherlands Ministry of Defence, the Netherlands Ministry of Transportation, Fonds Collectief Onderzoek (FCO) and Opleiding- & Ontwikkelingsfonds (O&O).

The specifications in this report are developed with tar-based antiskid as reference. These specifications are recommendations for airport authorities who need new runway surface dressings. Dependant of the intended use of the runway the airport authority may always specify other demands at there own responsibility.

Hopefully the market develops alternative runway surface dressings at a reasonable price. When one of these dressings proves to fullfill the specifications given in this report, including a Type Approval Installation Trial (TAIT), it can be used to coat a real runway (or part of it). When this product appears to be safe and durable, the exception on PAH containing coatings can be withdrawn.

The foundation of CROW,

Dr. ir. I.W. Koster,

Executive director.

CROW is short for “Center for Regulatory and Research in the Land, Water and Road and Traffic Engineering”. It is a Dutch organization that knowledge about traffic and transportations. It is in the national knowledge platform for infrastructure, traffic, transport and public space.