OMAHA, Neb. — How can airfield owners design new pavement projects that last while also prolonging the life of existing pavements, without undue interruptions to operations? Senior airfield paving engineer BJ Skar shares some of what he’s learned from more than four decades of engineering in the latest from our Experts Talk series. Read the interview here.

Skar explains the importance of knowing an airport’s current and future needs, the importance of making accurate traffic estimates and the top three things to do when starting an airfield pavement project. Above all, he says, it’s important to work with designers who have the right know-how.

“Experienced pavement experts will know what features need to be repaired first and which need to be repaired together to minimize impacts to aircraft operations,” he says. “Sometimes fixing the worst condition pavement is not the top priority.”

Skar, P.E., is an internationally recognized airfield paving expert who has worked on airfields across the world for both the military and commercial clients. Before joining HDR, he worked as the senior airfield engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Transportation Systems Center, and he still serves as an instructor in their Department of Defense Airfield Design Course. At HDR, he is part of a worldwide network of airfield paving experts that stretches from Skar at HDR’s headquarters in Omaha to pavement designers Natasha Bosman-Gertenbach and Andrew Beecraft in Brisbane, Australia, with others at offices across the U.S. and globe.

HDR’s Experts Talk interview series shines a light on various aspects of transportation infrastructure design and delivery. Each subject matter expert offers unique expertise and insights about new and ongoing trends, emerging technologies and the human side of infrastructure.

About HDR

For over a century, HDR has partnered with clients to shape communities and push the boundaries of what’s possible. Our expertise spans more than 10,000 employees in more than 200 locations around the world — and counting. Our engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services bring an impressive breadth of knowledge to every project. Our optimistic approach to finding innovative solutions defined our past and drives our future. For more information, please visit