The purpose of this paper is to summarize the performance of permeable asphalt pavements (PAP) and to recommend future areas of research and development. The development of PAP as an integral part of sustainable drainage systems is reviewed in the context of traditional and modern urban drainage. The difference between the permeable asphalt pavement and the ordinary bituminous concrete pavement is discussed. A description of the seepage calculation model based on the structural characteristics of PAP is presented. And also water level fluctuations of both the water permeable asphalt pavement and the ordinary bituminous concrete pavement are analyzed by comparing their numerical simulation results. Finally the drainage performance of the water permeable asphalt pavement is demonstrated. The long-term effectiveness of permeable pavement as an alternative to traditional impervious asphalt pavement is examined. The simulation results could provide significant guidance for the structure design of water permeable asphalt pavement.