This paper presents the design and experimental tests on a device to be used in airports for identifying different road friction conditions. The apparatus consists of a pad to be dragged by de-icing spreaders on airport runaways: its sliding surface is of Nyoil and it carries a load cell to measure the force exchanged with the vehicle. The pad has been designed at the Politecnico di Torino as part of the research program AWIS (Airport Weather Information System: study and realization of a system for the prediction, monitoring, and management of meteorological winter emergencies in airports) funded by Regione Piemonte. The paper reports some tests showing that it is possible to identify different friction levels between the pad sliding surface and the road. Finally a multibody model is proposed, aiming at extending the design also to spreading vehicles traveling on normal roads during winter maintenance operations.