Writer seeks info on chip-sealing gravel runway

We have property on a gravel airstrip. The Board of Directors wants to chip seal the runway. Where can I find out about the strength, cost, endurance, upkeep problems, affect of temperature and any problems with chip seal?


Marilyn Emery

Dear Marilyn

Thanks for your inquiry seeking information about chip sealing a runway.

I would suggest you contact your state’s aeronautics division (frequently a part of the department of transportation) for some thoughts relative to the manner in which such work is done in your state. You might also want to contact your city or county public works departments since they are the ones most likely to utilize such methods for road maintenance.

Check your local phone book for paving contractors for some additional good information on such methods of paving. I doubt the FAA will be much help on info about chip-sealing but you might try the FAA’s airports department in your area.

While I am certainly not well-versed on paving and chip-sealing, I’ve had a few dings in the windshield of a car when rocks flew up from the tires of the car in front of me on a newly chip-sealed street. I would have concern about those chips dinging up my prop as well as chewing up the belly of my plane and the leading edge of the elevator, but those are strictly my personal thoughts and aren’t based on any knowledge of such systems.

Please keep me posted on what you find out. Perhaps some other airpark residents or developers will enter their thoughts and practical experience into this discussion.

Dave Sclair