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"Illinois consulting firm helps nation's airports grow"



Thursday, February 28, 2002

Naperville consulting firm helps nation's airports grow
By David Sharos
The Chicago (IL) Tribune


>From all over the United States, small- to medium-sized airports looking to
grow have called on the services of Naperville-based Airport Consulting
Services Group Inc., which Pat Bridger began 17 years ago.

Fascinated by airplanes and airports since his grandfather took him to an
airport when he was 6 years old, Bridger, 54, opened his consulting firm
after spending years as a director of airport development, doing financial
analysis.

ACSG specializes in planning, real estate services, financial management and
environmental consulting.

Bridger said his firm's work is limited to airport clients.

"When there are complaints from a particular village or citizen group, we're
not involved in that," Bridger said. "Our focus is more on helping airports
develop or acquire property, build runways or terminals and offer consulting
on related items such as environmental impact and noise pollution."

Bridger oversees six employees; three in Naperville and one each in
Colorado, Minnesota and Michigan. His consultants fly all over the country
to serve clients.

Since 1985, Bridger's company has completed more than 200 consulting
assignments in 23 states, he said. It currently has 12 clients and never
carries more than 20.

"Our projects can last as little as 90 days to one we had which went on for
seven years," he said. "We've done a number of projects, ranging from those
related to airport noise to a big project in Springfield, Mo., where we
helped secure a $25 million letter of intent from the [Federal Aviation
Administration], which is planning a major project there."

Dave Kisser, 56, a project manager for ACSG, said the firm does some work
with small general aviation airports like those in DuPage County and
Schaumburg, but that much of the firm's work comes from larger facilities.

"It would be nice to stay local and not travel as much, because there aren't
many firms that do work like this throughout the country, and we're all
strapped with travel costs," Kisser said. "A lot of the smaller commercial
airports don't have the funds to use consulting services, so we rely on
those offering a larger amount of corporate air travel for our business."

Kisser, a pilot, has worked as a consulting engineer in mapping and as an
airport operations manager. Working on projects that involve expansion of
general aviation and corporate travel is a passion, he said. "Business
travel is a very important part of our air transportation system," he said.

Bridger said there are 430 to 450 commercial service airports in the United
States. Most have ongoing projects that can often use consulting services.

Company revenues have averaged about an 8 percent annual growth in recent
years, Bridger said. The firm posted $1 million in gross revenues in 2001,
he added.

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