Airports around the world are experiencing an increase in air traffic making on-land aircraft movement an obvious focus for safety improvements. Since the 1960’s grooving of runways and high-speed taxiways is one way that airports have aimed to improve safety in their key heavy-traffic areas. The idea is now starting to gain momentum in Canada, improving airport infrastructure just as aircraft manufacturers are constantly innovating to improve aeronautical safety.
Now in its 28th year of airside markings, Dan-Mark Traffic Marking understands the increasing demands being placed on airport operations and the need to take every possible step to ensure safer landings, and reduce the chances of overrun. Its sister company, Dan-Mark Runway Grooving, is at the forefront of the grooving industry. Ian Kjargaard, CEO of Dan-Mark Runway Grooving, has seen many great advances in aircraft safety and is confident in the benefits a grooved runway provides.
“I have always taken aircraft safety very seriously and I know first-hand that every step taken to prevent incidents is well worth the investment.”
On a grooved runway aircraft stopping-distance is increased by 10%. In wet conditions this figure goes up to 35%, a significant improvement to safety. Grooving consists of etching small grooves into the existing runway surface. Just 6mm deep by 6mm wide with a spacing of 37mm centre to centre, this method greatly reduces hydroplaning on landings and take-offs. Another benefit is that a wet surface area will dry much faster, again increasing stopping distances and improving the handling of aircraft and ground traffic.
Along with the reduction in hydroplaning, there is also the benefit of reducing re-application of de-icer on the runway. With a grooved runway/taxiway the de-icing materials stay in the grooves for twice as long, as they are not easily washed or blown away, leading to great operational cost savings.
Tests have shown that an incidental benefit to a grooved runway is that the need to do rubber removal is reduced by half, as the co-friction levels are maintained longer with a grooved surface.
Concern about the impact of ice to a grooved runway turns out to be based on a myth. In fact, when ice forms in the grooves, expansion does not affect the edges of the pavement, as the ice will simply expand upward. In addition, the equal force of ice within each groove would prevent any chance of concrete erosion or spalling.
The next step towards a safer runway and taxiway is to contact Dan-Mark for a free, no obligation estimate. Call the Dan-Mark team at 250-385-1145 or visit their website www.runway-grooving.ca for more information. Their experienced team understands tight deadlines and is able to minimize any disruption to air-traffic or groundside operations.