The Airport Pavement Structural Design System (APSDS) is the leading edge pavement design package for Airports and Heavy Industrial Pavements such as intermodal container terminal pavements.
The unique APSDS methodology rigorously incorporates lateral vehicle wander and state-of-the-art pavement material properties and performance models.

APSDS 4.0 coming soon

All the features introduced with CIRCLY Version 4.0 are being incorporated into APSDS 4.0. The major new time saving feature is the automatic thickness design capability. Previously you would have to manually adjust the thickness of a given layer until the required damage factor (usually 1.0) is found. This could take 10-30 minutes. Version 4 will automatically determine the optimum thickness in a few minutes on a Pentium PC.

New Large Aircraft (A3XX) under development at Airbus.

Interaction between wheels and wheel groups of New Large Aircraft

A new research paper, Interaction between wheels and wheel groups of New Large Aircraft, shows how current ‘mechanistic’ design methods predict that, for very low strength subgrades, much greater pavement thicknesses will be needed for the B777 and the NLAs. 

The paper demonstrates why vertical strain as an indicator of pavement damage often produces anomalous results.  Also any design methods that are based simply on the value of a given strain component at a point are unlikely to be fully satisfactory to predict pavement behaviour.

Heavy Duty Pavements

  • For further details on how APSDS is being used to design intermodal container terminal pavements click here.

  • We have recently published a paper that describes why performance data developed for highway pavements is not appropriate for heavy loadings such as airports and container terminals and can lead to grossly under-designed pavements.   For further details see Rodway and Wardle (1998).

Latest APSDS conference paper

Read the latest conference paper on APSDS.  This includes design case studies and comparisons of results made with LEDFAA. Other examples demonstrate the significance of wander in determining pavement thicknesses of runways relative to taxiways and docking bays.


APSDS is now Year 2000 compliant


What is APSDS?

The Airport Pavement Structural Design System (APSDS) is a computer software package with the capability to make even the most complex design project simpler, surer, more cost-effective and faster than has ever been possible with any other design system.

APSDS is a high technology tool which enhances competitiveness, increases the speed of analyses, reduces costs and brings new efficiencies to the complex and demanding task of airport pavement design, construction and maintenance.

One of the unique features of APSDS is that it takes rational account of aircraft wander. This is the statistical variation of the paths taken by successive aircraft relative to runway or taxiway centrelines, or to the lead-in lines to parking positions. Increased wander reduces pavement damage by different amounts that depend upon pavement thickness. This could lead to significant savings in construction costs.

APSDS is also a powerful tool for design of Heavy Duty Industrial Pavements for Container/Intermodal Terminals etc.

The Future of Pavement Design

APSDS is a major breakthrough in the field. It takes heavy-duty pavement design, construction and maintenance into a future where costly over-specification or costly and dangerous under-specification problems are minimised. A future where the risk of premature pavement failure or excessive maintenance requirement is dramatically reduced.

Already Proving its Worth

APSDS is currently in regular use by the Australian Government's Federal Airports Corporation in their management and control of 22 of Australia's major airport runway systems. It is also playing an important role to the design of Sydney's second international airport at Badgery's Creek. This Australian-designed and developed system is based on the internationally accepted CIRCLY pavement design program, in use throughout Australia and around the world for over two decades.

Where are the Benefits?

The benefits of APSDS are many and of major significance. They impact on all levels of airport operation - from design and construction, to ongoing operation and maintenance.

Further Reading

A paper describing the APSDS theory and applications

Recent Conference Papers

Proven Technology

APSDS is based on the CIRCLY pavement analysis software that has been proven on thousands of design applications over twenty years.

Some of our Clients and Projects...

APSDS is steadily being recognised as the leading edge tool for airport and heavy duty pavement design. The map indicates user sites and locations of recent projects. Some recent licencees and projects are:

Further details on our clients and how they have used APSDS on major International Airport Pavement Design and Rehabilitation projects.

Further details on major  applications of APSDS for design of   Heavy Duty Industrial Pavements for Container/Intermodal Terminals etc.