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Friction Testing

Airplanes depend on friction between runway and tires to be able to safely land the aircraft. 

Over time, the skid-resistance of runway pavement deteriorates due to weathering, usage, aging and contaminants. The most persistent contaminant problem is deposits of rubber from tires of landing jet aircraft. Heavy rubber deposits can completely cover the pavement surface texture causing loss of aircraft braking capability and directional control, particularly when runways are wet. 

According the Federal Aviation Administration (Advisory Circular No. 150/5320-12c), “visual evaluations of pavement friction are not reliable.” As such, the FAA has issued recommendations that airports undertake regularly scheduled friction testing.

Friction Testers, which are mobile computerized and stationary equipment, are used to accurately record pavement skid resistance in wet and dry conditions. Hi-Lite’s Friction Tester was acquired from the ASFT (Airport Surface Friction Tester) and is used to test friction at various airports around the world.