Pavement Classification Number

Pavement Classification Number

The Pavement Classification Number (PCN) is an International Civil Aviation Organization standard used in combination with the Aircraft Classification Number (ACN) to indicate the strength of a runway, taxiway or airport ramp (or apron). This helps to ensure that the airport ramp is not subjected to excessive wear and tear and thus lengthen its life.


Although important for the runway the major use of this number is for the apron. On landing the aircraft is light on fuel and usually less than 50% of the weight of the aircraft touches the runway in one go. On takeoff the aircraft is heavy but as the aircraft accelerates the weight gradually moves from the wheels to the wings. It is while the aircraft is being loaded and taxiing prior to departure, that the apron experiences significant loads from aircraft weight.

Typically this is only used for asphalt or concrete runways and would not be used for grass or gravel.

How it Works

The PCN is actually expressed as a five part code, separated by forward-slashes, describing the piece of pavement concerned.

The first part is a numeric value expressing the actual assessed strength of the pavement. The second part is a letter: either an R or an F, depending on whether the pavement itself is of a rigid or a flexible design.

The third part is another letter from A to D expressing the strength of what is underneath the pavement, known as the subgrade. So a subgrade of A would be very strong, most likely a reinforced concrete subbase. A subgrade of D would be very weak, most likely uncompacted soil.

The fourth part is either a letter, or a number with units expressing the maximum tire pressure that the pavement can support. In terms of letters, W is the highest, indicating that the pavement can support tires of any pressure, the others are as follows:

The fifth and final part just describes how the first value was worked out, a T indicates technical evaluation, and a U indicates usage -- a physical testing regime.

So a PCN of 80/R/B/W/T means that the underlying (probably asphalt) has a bearing strength of 80, is rigid, it's on a medium subgrade, it can withstand a tire pressure of 217 psi or higher, and this has been calculated through technical evaluation.

ee also


External links

* [ Transport Canada - Pavement Operations]
* [ Aircraft Load Ratings]
* [ Load Rating example]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pavement Classification Number — Die Pavement Classification Number, PCN (Dt. Tragfähigkeitsklassifikationszahl) beschreibt die Tragfähigkeit von Flugbetriebsflächen. Für den wirtschaftlichen Betrieb von Flugbetriebsflächen ist die Kenntnis der Tragfähigkeit von… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • pavement classification number — A number expressing the bearing strength of a pavement for unrestricted operation (ICAO). PCNs are calculated in terms of a standard single wheel load. The values of PCNs for runways and other operating areas are published in relevant aerodrome… …   Aviation dictionary

  • Aircraft Classification Number — Die Aircraft Classification Number (ACN) (dtsch. Lastwirkungsklassifikationszahl) beschreibt, welche Belastung ein bestimmter Flugzeugtyp auf Flugbetriebsflächen ausübt. Entsprechend der Pavement Classification Number, (PCN) (dtsch.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • load classification number — A system of classification of the supporting capacity of pavements, indicating their ability to support loads without cracking or becoming permanently deformed. The number is obtained by making plate bearing tests on the pavement. Likewise, the… …   Aviation dictionary

  • aircraft classification number — A number expressing the relative effect of an aircraft on pavement for a specified standard subgrade category (ICAO). Pavement refers to runways or operating areas. Using this method, it is possible to express the effect of individual aircraft on …   Aviation dictionary

  • Pavement (magazine) — Pavement was a New Zealand youth culture magazine published bimonthly, and then quarterly, by Bernard McDonald and Glenn Hunt from 1993 to 2006. Pavement was started with the aim of creating a magazine that would focus on contemporary culture… …   Wikipedia

  • load classification group — A pavement load bearing classification system indicating the load bearing capability of the pavement without cracking or becoming permanently deformed. It is a development of the load classification number (LCN) system and is intended to take… …   Aviation dictionary

  • Abkürzungen/Luftfahrt/L–R — Dies ist der vierte Teil der Liste Abkürzungen/Luftfahrt. Liste der Abkürzungen Teil 1 A A Teil 2 B–D B; C; D Teil 3 E–K …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Runway — This article is about the aircraft take off and landing area. For other uses, see Runway (disambiguation). Landing strip redirects here. For the pubic hairstyle, see Bikini waxing. RWY redirects here. For the audio/video connectors, see RCA… …   Wikipedia

  • Abkürzungen/Luftfahrt/B–D — Dies ist der zweite Teil der Liste Abkürzungen/Luftfahrt. Liste der Abkürzungen Teil 1 A A Teil 2 B–D B (BA, BB, BC, BD, BE, BF, BG, BH, BI, BJ, BK, BL …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”