A Digital Tool of Life-Cycle Maintenance of Airport Pavement for Different Stakeholders

Guest Author by Guest Author | Apr 20, 2023
By Zhongcheng Gui, Chairman of Shanghai Guimu Robot Co., Ltd. and Xing Shi, Chief European Representative of Shanghai Guimu Robot Co., Ltd.

The potential demand for comprehensive and unified information from stakeholders of airport pavement maintenance

Pavement is one of the most important assets of airport facilities, while its safety, a key factor for aviation operations. At present, most airports mainly use manual sampling and other traditional methods for pavement health inspection. The most common pain points for pavement data collection include the lack of full-coverage inspection and pavement structural condition data and that this data is not traceable. Therefore, there is huge potential to improve the accuracy of data collection, upgrade data analysis, and create a full digital database for more cost-and-time efficient life-cycle maintenance of airport pavement.

Guimu Robot airport pavement health inspection system is able to collect both pavement surface and structural defects and failures automatically and precisely. The data collected by Guimu robot can be used as supplementary information to traditional heavy weight deflectometer (HWD) and coring sampling. This provides valuable information to the different stakeholders of airport pavement repair and maintenance, such as the airport’s operational, engineering and repair and digital departments, and testing and research organizations.

The data interpretation resulted in a 2D and 3D modelling of the surface and structure condition of pavement. The users can see the digital twin of the pavement as a whole, or trace the development of each pavement in terms of detected type, dimension, depth, repair history, etc. More detailed technical introduction of Guimu Robot Airport Pavement Solution can be found in our previous ACI Insight Blog.

Case studies of Guimu Robot

In pavement repair projects, Guimu Robot provides valuable data to aviation authorities, airport operational departments, and engineering and construction teams, etc., for the optimization of repair schemes and the quality control of post-repair work inspection. This not only saves money for the repair work itself, but also saves and minimizes the potential future costs for repeated work in case of quality issues.

Case study 1: Huge savings from precise repair at Airport ¨Y¨ in North China

Stakeholders involved: airport maintenance team, design institute, engineering and construction teams

Summary of application: The runway in question appeared having several defects and failures, such as cracking, board corner peeling, and broken beams. Guimu Robot completed a full coverage inspection before repair works started and provided data and advice to optimize the repair planning. For cracking areas, the exact repair action was decided not only from the surface outlook but also based on the structural conditions. In addition, the areas that did not show any surface cracking but already displayed underground structural defects were identified and repaired accordingly.


  • Comprehensive pavement data of surface and structural defects and failures.
  • Surface and structural failures analysis, providing suggestions for precise repair and future maintenance.
  • Cost saving of repairs of Euro 1.5 M for this single project.

Case study 2: New runway acceptance at airport “Z” in China

Stakeholders involved: airport, design institute, construction teams

Guimu Robot would provide valuable data and help find potential construction defaults. The owner and other stakeholders will have repairs completed at lowest possible risks and costs. These repairs will significantly increase the safety of future operations and the data collected would be used as initial data for life-cycle management and strong data support to future decisions regarding runway maintenance.

Summary of application: Full coverage inspection of the newly built runway, include condition of dowel bars and underground pipes, and a 2D/3D modelling of inspected area.


  • Position check of each dowel bar, including depth and positioning. Some dowel bars were cut due to insufficient depth, therefore minimizing the future risk of board breaking due to stress transfer bias.
  • Quality problem found from some of the concrete boards. The constructor replaced such boards to avoid future risk and problems.
  • Confirmed the consistency of construction and design location of pipe.

Case study 3: Life-cycle maintenance at Beijing Daxing Airport

Stakeholders involved: airport and aviation authorities

In the life-cycle management mode, the airport can gain more comprehensive and precise pavement health condition. Full coverage pavement inspection is done periodically, including a comprehensive evaluation of pavement health condition. Both pavement safety and pavement life can benefit from such mode.

Summary of application

  • Annual full coverage pavement inspection.
  • Periodical monitoring and comparison of pavement structural defects and failures trends.


  • Precise preventative maintenance based on comprehensive and precise data.
  • Digital archiving of pavement data and integration to pavement management.
  • Improvement of digital and intelligent airport operation and established a global benchmark in pavement life-cycle management.

Call for collaboration

We hope to establish collaboration with different airports and relating stakeholders in pavement design, construction, and maintenance.

In Summer and Autumn 2023, Guimu Robot is planning to have pilot on-site pavement inspections in several leading European airports. If interested in these inspections for your airports or customers, kindly contact us at info@gm-robot.com for:

  • Equipment sales and services for airports and third-party inspection organizations.
  • Tailor-made inspection service and data consultation for airports, design institutes and constructors etc.

Guimu Robot will have a booth at the ACI EUROPE / ACI WORLD Annual General Assembly, Conference and Exhibition in Barcelona, Spain between 26-28 June 2023. All delegates are welcome to visit and book an on-site meeting with us.

Zhongcheng Gui, Chairman of Shanghai Guimu Robot Co., Ltd., and Member of ACI EUROPE Technical, Operations & Safety Committee

As Chairman and founder of Shanghai Guimu Robot Co., Ltd., Dr. Zhongcheng Gui has 20 years of experience in robot technology research and development, as well as in enterprise administration. Dr. Gui has published over 30 academic papers and created over 140 approved patents. Besides the airport pavement health inspection robot, Dr. Gui also leads the development of a drainpipe inspection robot, a cableway-climbing robot, a high-speed railway crane installation robot, and a crawling intelligent welding robot.

Xing Shi, Chief European Representative of Shanghai Guimu Robot Co., Ltd., and Substitute Member of ACI EUROPE Technical, Operations & Safety Committee

Mr. Xing Shi is the European Chief Representative of Shanghai Guimu Robot Co., Ltd. Holding master’s degrees in international innovation and technology management, Xing has over 20 years of experience in international innovation and high-tech collaboration. As an active member of the ACI community, Xing has started travelling again after the pandemic and is looking forward to meeting different stakeholders to collaborate in predictive digital life-cycle management of airport pavements.

Guest Author
156 articles
Share This