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Runway Friction Testing

Why Friction Test?

With millions of aircraft taking-off and touching-down at airports around the world every day, it is important to know that your runway is up to the job and won’t be the cause of an incident due to poor friction. For all runways, good rideability and knowledge of friction characteristics are paramount for safety and effective maintenance cost planning.  The friction properties of a surface represent the interface between the pavement and the aircraft using it and have a significant influence on operations. Aside from peace of mind, it is also an international requirement with civilian and military standards such as CAP683, ICAO Annex 14 and MADS (formally JSP554) formally regulating the procedures and equipment to ensure runway safety remains at the highest level.

Experts in Friction Testing

With decades of experience, Cranfield Aerospace (CAe)S is a leading expert in conducting runway friction tests throughout the UK and around world. Operating four CAA accepted Continuous Friction Measurement Equipment (CFME) devices, CAeS are perfectly equipped to perform safety critical runway friction tests and support independent evaluations for military, civilian and international customers. Employing Suitably Qualified and Experienced Persons (SQEP) and regularly serviced equipment, CAeS are always available and ready to respond to any customer requirement. Our years of experience mean that friction tests are professionally conducted with little or no disruption to flights or airport operations.

Over the years, CAeS have successfully completed runway friction tests and provided expert knowledge and support to customers throughout the UK, Europe, South Africa and Asia. Throughout any test, CAeS always operate to the strict criteria and relevant international standards of CAP683, ICAO Annex 14 and MADS (formally JSP554).

For runway friction testing, CAeS can offer:

  • Suitably Qualified and Experienced engineers holding UK DVA security clearance
  • Support to UK civilian, military and international customers
  • CAA accepted Continuous Friction Measurement Equipment
  • Certification of new runway surfaces or re-evaluation of existing runway surfaces
  • Detailed friction contour maps, easily highlighting areas of poor friction
  • Independent assessments and evaluations

Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) Stations

CAeS has regularly been awarded the friction testing contract for all licensed RAF, Army, and Royal Navy stations in the UK, as well as those in Gibraltar, Cyprus and Mount Pleasant, Falkland Islands. The award of the most recent contract reinforces the enduring partnership between Cranfield Aerospace Ltd and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) in ensuring the continuing safety of all aerodrome runways within the UK and overseas.

Post Accident Investigation

As part of our ongoing certification of operational runways, CAeS can also offer our services in the support of investigations following accidents and incidents where a runway’s friction performance is called into question. Please get in touch via our Team page to talk through any queries you may have.

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