Books on airport (and runway) design

I'm occasionally asked about books and textbooks covering airports and runways, and these fall into 3 sorts:

Airport Design Textbooks

Planning and Design of Airports, 4/ed
by Robert Horonjeff, Francis X. McKelvey (Contributor), Richard D. Horonjeff 
$US95. Available from Amazon. McGraw-Hill Professional; 4th edition (December 1, 1993) 
Quoting their review (no prizes for guessing who wrote it) "The best of its kind. We have all the other airport and terminal design books on the bookshelf (up to 1998 publication date), but every time we come back to using Horonjeff for the serious masterplanning and design of new airports and extensions. It is also good for layout design by the engineer for terminals - although the architects may want more books. Horonjeff has got the full set of data tables and charts to enable you to design anything. I seldom need to use the ICAO Manuals on a daily basis, and only use them for cross checking an obscure point. The upgrade from the 3rd edition to the 4th edition was a big one - it metricated much of the book, added in the latest aircraft (late model 737, 767s and ER, and the 777-200), and generally updated the book. Examples of new information are some good stuff on runway/taxiway capacity, and some additions to ACN/PCN. Worth spending the money to update. Essential to buy if starting from scratch. The best textbook for a course on Airport Engineering. Equal to other textbooks for a course on Aviation and Airports. "

Airport Systems - Planning, Design and Management 
by Richard de Neufville and Amedeo Odoni. $US75. Available from Amazon or their subsidiaries. McGaw-Hill, 2003

Wow - what a revolution in thinking. This book captures the way forward for airport planners. No longer limited to technical aspects in the 21st Century, it's saying that airport planners and designers should cultivate new and critical thinking on such issues as profitability, revenues, and user services. The FAA Advisory Circulars and ICAO Design Manuals contain general airport planning and design standards. The thrust of these authors’ approach is that the new context for airport system planning is commercial, no longer limited to narrow technical aspects. Influences such as airline deregulation, airport and airline privatization, a global airport industry, and advanced technology (electronic commerce in particular) require this new approach. The framework more widely concentrates on costs and revenues, stochastic traffic and risks, and operations and management. Must buy.

To quote (and I reckon the same thing): [Airport Systems] will become the definitive text on airport design for the first part of the 21st century. -- Prof. Robert Caves, University of Loughborough, England

Airport Operations
by Norman Ashford, Martin H. P. Stanton, Clifton A. Moore (Contributor), H. P. Martin Stanton
$US60. Available from Amazon
More an operations book, and less for designing and engineering. Gives a simpler overview.

Noddy's book of planes   
by Enid Blyton.  Out-of-print.
Easy to read text and well illustrated, without over-reliance on mathematics or engineering concepts. Suitable for corporate management, especially accountants and HR. Best read in conjunction with the "Bob the Builder" to get the fullest understanding of aviation's complexities. 

Pavement textbooks

Principles of Pavement Design, 2nd Edition 
E. J. Yoder (Author), M. W. Witczak (Author). John Wiley Publishers. Available from Amazon. Presents a complete coverage of all aspects of the theory and practice of pavement design including the latest concepts. For serious pavement engineers, with great coverage from the fundamentals upwards. My personal choice.

Pavement Analysis And Design
by Yang H. Huang. Available from Amazon. Publisher:
Pearson Education POD. A textbook based on the author's course for seniors and graduate students at the U. of Kentucky. The content is limited to the structural analysis and design of highway pavements and covers essentially the mechanistic-empirical design procedures rather than the purely empirical methods. Two original computer programs are included--the KENLAYER program for flexible pavements and the KENSLABS program for rigid pavements--and can be run on a PC using the diskette provided with the text. Lotsa maths !!!

NAPA Hotmix Asphalt Guide
Well Prof Joe Mahoney has really done it now - just gone and written the best asphalt resource in the world!!! His interactive CD is "A Guide for Hot Mix Asphalt Pavement". The information contained in this CD is the equivalent of a  350-page book on Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) technology. It gives a complete overview of HMA technology, including materials, mix design, mix selection, structural design, construction, pavement evaluation, and pavement maintenance and rehabilitation.  (Order number TAS-30), available from NAPA at a list price of $30 plus shipping and handling. Orders may be placed by e-mail to, or via the NAPA home page at
As a teacher, I can't beat that and might as well give up - if anyone knows where I can get a new career humping airline bags or cleaning cabins, please e-mail me.

Government manuals

Federal Aviation Administration (USA
The excellent airport pavement design manual from the USA - FAA 150/5320-6D Airport
Pavement Design and Evaluation - can be found and downloaded from:
This has less theory about pavements than the textbooks, but a good coverage of practice. However it does waffle about a bit, and always takes me a few hours to read and digest.

International Civil Aviation Organisation 
Manuals on airports (Annex 14) and on pavements. Order from ICAO. Essential for airport pavement engineers.

Australia CASR Part 139
The Australian airport rules are online now (well deserved bouquets) - their Manual of Standards Part 139 is here  

Last updated:  13 September 2006