Simple Flying - Jake Hardiman
The majority of runways either have a concrete or asphalt surface, but what are the differences?
But what do these different compositions mean in terms of their use as runway surfaces? From a cost perspective, concrete is the more expensive and time-consuming surface to install (and subsequently make repairs to). While it is generally the stronger compound, it is also more prone to cracking. This further increases the frequency and cost of repairs.
On the other hand, concrete is more environmentally friendly due to asphalt’s petroleum-based binder. Furthermore, it is not subject to deforming under hot conditions in the same way that the more flexible asphalt can be. One aspect that is interesting to note is the fact that, according to Aviation Stack Exchange, asphalt runways have concrete reinforcements underneath.