Preservation - Airport Pavement Condition - WisDOT MAPSS Performance Improvement Program

WisDOT MAPSS - Preservation - Airport Pavement Condition - Protecting, maintaining and operating Wisconsin's transportation system efficiently by making sound investments that preserve and extend the life of our infrastructure, while protecting our natural environment.

Airport Pavement Condition - Protecting, maintaining and operating Wisconsin's transportation system efficiently by making sound investments that preserve and extend the life of our infrastructure, while protecting our natural environment.

Wisconsin has 97 publicly owned airports, and their safe and efficient operation depends on preserving and maintaining the quality of runway, taxiway and apron pavement. Our goal is for 90% of primary runways, 85% of priority taxiways and 80% of main terminal apron of Airport pavement to be rated in fair condition or better.

Pavement condition ratings are a primary indicator of the long-term structural health of the state’s airport system. The department evaluates the pavement condition on three pavement types (primary runways, taxiways and aircraft parking aprons) at each of the 97 publicly owned airports identified in the State’s Airport System Plan (SASP). 

Airports are locally owned and decisions regarding improvements are handled at the local level. Airports developing improvement programs are faced with many challenges ranging from competing priorities to funding constraints. During the last several years, federal funding opportunities have favored safety and planning initiatives over other priorities such as pavement rehabilitation projects. While these initiatives have helped to increase safety across Wisconsin’s airports, they can have the unintended consequence of limiting an airport’s ability to fully fund pavement preservation and rehabilitation projects. There was also a decrease in the total area of evaluated taxiways of 0.5%. This coupled with the effort to rehabilitate the higher priority runways first may be the cause for the decrease in taxiway ratings and increase in runway ratings.

WisDOT conducts annual meetings with airports to discuss their six-year capital improvement program and identify opportunities for future projects. A key component of this outreach is stressing the importance of strong asset management principles that emphasize safety and preservation of critical pavement infrastructure. To maintain long-term infrastructure health, pavement needs must be incorporated into the six-year plan in a way that balances them with high-priority safety needs and other activities such as airport operational needs. WisDOT has recently been utilizing website software that helps more accurately identify and prioritize pavement preservation opportunities. This information allows airports to make better determinations about the best locations, scope, and timing of projects to achieve maximum results. Furthermore, an ongoing emphasis on planning efforts will allow WisDOT to move forward with paving projects more efficiently in the coming years.