Request for Proposal (RFP)
Active January 20, 2006
Requests Closed 03/10/06 at 4:00 PM (CST)

IPRF Project 01-G-002-05-1

Airfield Pavement Marking Handbook


Requests Closed


Airfield marking includes preparing the pavement surface and the application of paint, or other materials, for the purpose of providing visual guidance for aircraft ground operations. The process is generally perceived as simple. However, circumstances develop resulting in a loss of bond of the paint to the pavement; flaking and/or delaminating of old paint under new, excessive reapplication requirements, poor visibility, etc. The deficiencies directly impact flying safety, and in some instances, damage to aircraft is a result.

To assist the airfield community increase the quality of marking, and thereby promote flying safety, the industry needs a consolidated document that explains the process. A handbook not dated by content - materials change but basics do not.

The handbook would provide information to all users (the owner, engineer, specifier, contractor, contract inspector, and maintainer) and promote an understanding of the materials and the technique used for the application and maintenance of airfield pavement marking. The document will draw attention to the critical nature of marking and instill in the reader that "marking is not the last item on the to-do list."

The document must be applicable for either concrete or asphalt pavement surfaces. The document must explain the process and fundamentals involved in material selection and the expected performance of those materials. It should be a sole source education and training tool for those stakeholders involved in the inspection, enforcement and mitigation of airfield marking contracts. The document would be a "best practices" handbook.

A "Best Practices" handbook provides a summary of how it is done and how it can be improved. "Best Practices" is not how to do it; but, it is a summary of practices, based upon empirical experience, that result in satisfactory applications resulting in minimal maintenance requirements. The document must clearly explain the pitfalls that can be experienced when accomplishing airfield marking for both new and existing asphalt and concrete pavements.

Supplemental visual aids should compliment the handbook. Those aids will include a video that compares the good and the poor. The video is a supplement. The research focus is on publication of a handbook.


  • The product of the research must be an education and training tool for the owner, engineer, specifier, contractor, and project inspector. The following questions must be addressed.
    • What defines the difference between good and poor practice?
    • Are there differences in materials and if so what are the considerations that make it appropriate to select one material over another?
    • How does workmanship (requires definition) and performance on behalf of the contractor impact the quality (measured by durability and visibility) of the marking?
    • How do weather conditions at the time of application impact material performance? Does weather affect some materials more than others?
  • The product must answer the question "Is there a difference in the perceptions of the owner versus the user and/or the user versus the supplier (materials or workmanship) as to performance of markings?" Explain why differences exist.
  • The product must define the term "maintenance" with respect to airfield pavement marking? Is maintenance nothing more than the re-application of marking material? When should maintenance be accomplished (measured how) and what should it include? How does a material, in a different environment, impact the maintenance requirements?
  • The product(s) must explain the difference in "good practice" for new pavement marking versus "good practice" for existing pavement marking?
  • What are the fundamentals involved in:
    • Preparation of a pavement surface including obliteration techniques,
    • Selection of material,
    • When to open to traffic,
    • Determination as to when the environment is conducive to application,
    • What to do when the environment is not conducive to application,
    • Using phased applications,
    • Definition of terms used in the description of material and techniques for material applications, and
    • Selection of temporary marking with respect to material, when to use and how to remove.


The research team is encouraged to develop and explore alternatives for the content of the handbook. However, there are concepts that do require investigation and evaluation.

  • Should the reader of the handbook be familiar with quality control problems that arise at the point of origin of a marking material?
    • Should the handbook include definitive guidelines for the manufacture of materials? What should the quality assurance functions consist of at the point of manufacture?
    • Should there be sample specifications for products?
    • Should there be things identified that the end user should be aware of in the transportation of and methods of transport of material?
  • Is it necessary for the end user to specify acceptance testing of the applied product and what would be the form of those tests?
    • What are the qualifications required of those people that would perform and interpret the tests?
    • Are there test techniques and methods that can be readily adopted from "state-of -the-art" formats?
    • Are there simple tests that can be performed in the field that are not precise in result but the result could generate the need to do additional testing?
  • Does the condition of the substrate significantly impact the performance of a marking?
    • Is it necessary to have a different technique and level of acceptance for the preparation of different surfaces? (i.e., new, existing, remark, etc.)
    • Does the climate or a change in climatic condition, dictate the requirement to modify a surface preparation technique?
  • Is it feasible for the end user (owner) to adopt "test strip" concepts that would demonstrate the capabilities of the contractor prior to allowing the work to proceed?
    • Would a test strip assist in determining effectiveness of surface preparation, rates of application and the capabilities of the chosen method of production?
    • Can a test strip be an effective venue to determine compliance with the specification?
    • Can a test strip be an effective form of evaluation of clean-up and/or removal?
    • Would a test strip be an effective method for evaluating material limitations?
  • Every project terminates in a decision to "accept." There are always three options: accept and pay, reject and mitigate, reject and do it again. However, at each level there remain doubts. Can the handbook be used to give guidance as to what is and what is not acceptable?
    • Is there really a category that would qualify for reduced pay?
    • When is "bad" really "ugly?"
    • Should mitigation be allowed?
    • Is there a need for a warranty? What would be covered - material, application or both?"


Provide a handbook (in the form of an IPRF report), for use by the owner, engineer, specifier, contractor, and contract inspector that can be used as an education / training guide and a criteria document that will assist the airport industry in improvement of the quality in application of airfield pavement marking. The use of the techniques and methods described in the guide should result in reduced maintenance. The document should also provide guidance on resolving material and workmanship issues that ultimately would reduce contracting issues/delays.

The final document will have supplementary items that include as a minimum:

  • a video,
  • a slide show overview of the document,
  • checklists that will be used by the disciplines involved in the acquisition, execution and acceptance of airfield pavement marking projects, and
  • at least two case studies that demonstrate mitigation situations and the result.

The final document(s) will present the findings of the research in a format and presentation easily understood by the intended user. The end product(s) will be a document(s) that the engineer, constructor or airport owner can read, gain an understanding of the problem and approach airfield marking in a rational manner.

The investigator will provide the original publication, in two copies, in a camera ready format including artwork, graphics and photos. In addition, all documents and supplementary items will be submitted in an electronic format compatible with off-the-shelf desktop computer publication software. The investigator will not be responsible for the reproduction and printing of the final document(s) but will assist with minor editing requirements generated by the printing and reproduction.


The investigator will develop sub-tasks that when completed will result in completion of the project within the time and budget allowed. It is not necessary that the proposal reflect the exact budget or the planned time. However, any deviation from the designated resources must be justified and clearly explained in the proposal.

The following are the minimum tasks considered necessary to successfully accomplish the project.

Task 1 - Literature Review. Examine existing literature to determine what documents are applicable to this project and what information is available. Determine "where are the holes" in the technology. Produce a summary document that provides a summary of the review findings.

As a minimum, the literature review will include the following documents. Documents are available from the IPRF Cooperative Programs Management Office.

FAA Advisory Circular Guidance.
AC 150/5320-40, Standards for Airport Markings
AC 150/5370-10, Item P-620

US Air Force Civil Engineering Support Agency Engineering Technical Letters
ETL 97-18, Guide Specification for Airfield and Roadway Marking
ETL 97-17, Guide Specification - Paint and Rubber Removal from Roadway and Airfield Pavements
ETL 97-16, Pavement Marking System for Low Temperature Applications

Selected Specifications and Material References
TT-B-1325C- Federal Specification Beads (Glass Spheres Retro-Reflective)
TT-P-1952D- Federal Specification Paint, Traffic and Airfield Marking, Waterborne
A-A-2886B- Commercial Item Description Paint, Traffic, Solvent Based
02763A- Unified Facilities Guide Specifications, Pavement Markings Section (DoD)

Task 2 - Document a Research Plan and Develop an Outline. Develop an outline of the end product(s) and specifically include in that outline those issues that the research team defines as "issues." Develop a plan for doing research that will fill the "holes" in available information. Define where information will come from and propose a list of those airports where "lessons learned" can be garnered relative to airfield pavement marking (for both asphalt and concrete pavement) in both new and existing pavement. Talk to the representatives of regional FAA offices and select airport operators and determine if there are recurring problems with airfield marking projects (both contract and in-service). Submit the summary of the literature and information gathering task. Submit an outline of the proposed product(s) and a plan for finding answers and/or validating those answers.

Task 3 - On-Board Review. Present the information from Task 1 and 2 to the IPRF Technical Panel. The Technical panel will provide comments on the intent established by the products presented. The research team will incorporate comments in the future work, identify where change in scope requirements exist, and be responsible for the documentation of comments received. This is designated as the 20% review. The research team will not proceed to Task 4 without written approval of the IPRF.

An on-board review. An on-board review must be scheduled at least 30 days prior to the actual meeting. Documents that are prepared for technical panel review must be provided at least 30 days prior to the meeting. The location of the meeting will be coordinated with the IPRF. The investigator is responsible for preparing the minutes of the meeting and the disposition of the comments of IPRF Technical Panel members.

Task 4 -Airport Marking Performance Sources. Develop a list of airports where problems with marking of pavements developed as a result of the application or durability (less than a few weeks). Develop a list of engineers, airport operators or contractors have experience with pavement marking performance, both good and bad. Where maintenance problems have evolved, document the experiences. Develop a list of at least five (5) people, both contractors and specification writers with expert knowledge in airfield marking, and have them define where improvements can be made in details or techniques.

IMPORTANT: A written survey will not be accomplished to determine where pavement marking problems exist or have been known to happen. A survey is defined as the random distribution of a standard list of questions that seek trends or forecasting information. The use of such surveys must receive approval through the IPRF from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). That process requires a minimum of 90 days from the date of application for the survey approval. The 90 day approval period is not included in the time designated as the performance period. The investigator is encouraged to use a means other than "survey" to identify the candidate airport projects.

Perform visits to at least 12 airports that represent differences in climate, traffic, and size (Hub, reliever, commercial service, DoD). At least one airport will accomplish marking soley by contract and at least one will do marking using in-service resources.

The list of airports to be visited will be submitted to the IPRF for review and comment prior to an actual visit. The list must include a short paragraph that describes the intent of the visit and what information will be gathered. Prospective visits can be scheduled prior to the receipt of IPRF concurrence in the proposed list of airports.

Task 5 - Accomplish The Research Plan Approved in Task 3. When Task 4 is completed, fully develop the outline approved by the IPRF in Task 3. Perform visits to airports and accomplish interviews. Document the findings. Validate assumptions made during development of the outline.

Task 6 - Draft Handbook and Supplemental Materials. The products should quantify the problems that have been discovered (or perceived). The product should offer solutions in the form of a "Best Practices" format. The products are to be submitted for review by the Technical Panel. The research team is expected to define issues that need to be fully discussed and make recommendations on policy decisions. Further research or information gathering may be required as a result of the 60% review.

An on-board review will be accomplished. An on-board review must be scheduled at least 30 days prior to the actual meeting. Documents that are prepared for technical panel review must be provided at least 30 days prior to the meeting. The location of the meeting will be coordinated with the IPRF. The investigator is responsible for documenting the comments of IPRF Technical Panel members and the disposition of each comment.

Task 7 - Draft Final Report. Make corrections to the 60% products and submit the final to the IPRF. Include in the report all artwork, graphical presentations, format, etc. The document shall be in a form that for all intent is complete with the exception of final comments made by the technical panel.

An on-board review is optional. The review of the final draft report and supporting items will be a desk top review accomplished by the IPRF Technical Panel. The panel may determine that an on-board review is required because of content of the final draft. Written comments by the Technical Panel will be provided to the research team within 30 days of receipt of the Draft Final Report. The investigator is responsible for documenting the comments of IPRF Technical Panel members and the disposition of each comment.

Task 8 - Final Report. Make corrections to the 90% document and submit the final documents. Assist the IPRF with editorial changes, minor format corrections or other editing necessary for publication of the final report.

Products Summary:

  1. The final product will be a document that represents a best practices guide (as an IPRF Report) that includes descriptive and graphic elaboration of the airfield pavement marking process for both concrete and asphalt pavement (new and existing). The report will be submitted as two original documents and one copy in electronic media compatible with conventional desktop publishing systems. Supplemental materials will include checklists, a video, a slide show and at least two case studies.
  2. The summary report of the literature search and an outline of the report. Submit 10 copies. This is defined as the 20% level of completion. The investigator will host the meeting. Location will be determined in coordination with the IPRF.
  3. Submit in electronic format the list of proposed airports to be included in visits and the reason for the selection of the individual airport.
  4. Submit an advanced final report (10 copies) for 60% review. The review will be accomplished as an on-board meeting at a location to be determined. The investigator will host the meeting. Location will be determined in coordination with the IPRF.
  5. Submit the Final draft (10 copies) for the 90% review. Comments will be returned to the research team, or the research team will be prepared to have an on-board review with the Technical Panel.
  6. Final report and supplemental materials. (two hard copies and one electronic copy).

Other Considerations and specific requirements.

  1. The investigator is responsible for the preparation of quarterly reports that describe the progress of the research effort. Reports are due in the offices of the IPRF on the last day of the fiscal year quarter. The reports will be limited to two pages in a format specified by the IPRF. The first page will be a word document describing the progress of the work. The second page will provide a summary of the estimated resource expenditures versus the costs incurred to date.
  2. The research team will visit a minimum of 12 airports for the purpose of witnessing "good practices" and the results of "poor practice." Each of the 12 airports selected will represent a community of airports with respect to climate, size (i.e., hub, commercial service, reliever, Department of Defense) and surface type (i.e., concrete, asphalt). At least one airport included in the list will accomplish marking entirely by contract and at least one using in-house resources.
  3. The research team will include two (2) case studies that represent mitigation scenarios. The scenarios should be representative as to the situations that can arise in field situations.
  4. The research team will create "checklists" for use by the contract inspector / manager and the engineer / specifier. The checklists should help the user identify critical steps and techniques and assist the user in using their time effectively. The checklist should help with preparatory items, identify testing and suggest when oversight is required.
  5. The research team will develop and provide a video that can be used in training scenarios. The video should document good and poor practice (and the results of each practice). The video will not be a training course unto itself, it will only document examples. The emphasis of the research is to be on the handbook and not the video.
  6. The research team will develop a slide show presentation that gives an overview of the handbook.


After the technical panel completes the evaluation of proposals, each of the proposals will be rank ordered. The organization, group, or individual that is ranked as the first and second choice for the recommendation to award may be asked to participate in a telephone interview. The Principal Investigator, and one other person, representing the entity ranked first and second choice by the technical panel may be asked to participate in the interview to discuss the project details, goals, and objectives. The interview will occur within a 45-day window subsequent to the proposal submittal deadline.


IPRF procedural guidance documents are available below. Persons preparing proposals are urged to review the following documents to be sure that there is a full understanding of IPRF procedures and requirements. Proposals must be prepared in the format specified in the instruction documents. The proposal will be submitted as one (1) original and 10 copies.

The documents required to aide in the preparation of the proposal include:

PDF files require Acrobat Reader to view.



PROJECT DIRECTOR: Mr. Jim Lafrenz, P.E. (


PROPOSAL DUE DATE: March 10, 2006 not later than 4:00 PM (CST)


Proposals will be delivered to:
Innovative Pavement Research Foundation
Cooperative Programs Office, Attn. Jim Lafrenz
201 Shawnee Street
Hiawatha, KS 66434
(785) 742-6900
FAX: (785) 742-6908

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