An overview on portable roads and airfields: using of matting systems as temporary and semi-permanent roads and airfields


Matting systems used as roadways and airfields are new innovative techniques used to solve mobility problems and make it easier to get around and transport goods under different climate and traffic conditions. The portable roads are extremely versatile and can be used for servicing areas with poor ground conditions, heavy load requirements and high traffic density. They could be used to facilitate vehicular access into areas that contain saturated soils, wetlands or soft/poor subgrade conditions and make secluded areas accessible (remote regions in general.).

Moreover, portable roads can be used as temporary roads for emergency situations to enable aid deliveries to disaster areas, or during maintenance of existing roads or as temporary roads during a traffic jam.

Regarding the portable airfields, some portable runways have been developed to support the heavy rolling loads, including heavy unmanned aircrafts and heavy maintenance equipment. Most of the available portable airfields are used in remote areas where existing runway or airport infrastructure is limited or non-existent. The use of mats to construct an airfield depends on many factors, such as ground conditions, the type and weight of aircraft being deployed, the expected usage levels, and the time available to construct the airfield.

The objective of this report is to provide a practical perspective on construction and performance characteristics of some available portable roads and airfields systems that can be used to solve temporary and semi-permanent transport problems. Literature results are presented to educate the readers on available systems’ types and the best uses of each system in different applications.



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