ATG has permission to land
With its head office located in Warrington, ATG Airports has become a leading supplier of airport technology to both civil and military airports.
Manufacturing products like guidance signs, navigational aids, and ground power systems, ATG airports provides complete turnkey project management for airports, incorporating design, all the way through to after-sales services. Underpinning the company’s actions in industry are the maxims of offering the best service, capabilities, and promise of deliverability, to quality levels certified to BS EN ISO 9001:2000
Founded in 1993, the business became a privately owned venture in 1997. Business development manager Andy Sole takes up the story: “We started by creating airfield control and lighting systems, before moving into the manufacturing of constant current regulators (CCRs), which are the power supply for light fittings. The strategy of the business was to grow by purchasing other organisations, and adding their areas of technical expertise, and our CCR capability was strengthened by the acquisition of a company called Parmeko.
“Following this addition, we realised there was an opening to install our own products, so we started on projects at airports throughout the UK,” Andy explains. “As we went from strength to strength, we developed more control systems, and more orders were received for our CCRs. The opportunity then arose to acquire the Norwegian airport sign manufacturer Smith AS, and we shipped everything over to the UK, starting production of signs that are used on runways and taxiways. Finally, our airfield lighting division was strengthened through the purchase of Alstom Airport Lighting, allowing ATG to expand further into this market.”
As the capabilities of the organisation have increased, the scope of ATG has become international. Andy elaborates on the recent developments: “Over the last few years, we have had some sales in overseas markets such as the Caribbean and the Bahamas, as well as in Malaysia and the Philippines. The acquisition of Alstom has increased our agency network, which opens up markets to us on a worldwide scale. ATG is definitely looking to expand in the coming years, and this is evidenced by our increased overseas sales over the last six months. We are now in a position where we can provide everything an airport needs from design, through to manufacture, installation, commissioning, and after-salesservices. We already have many contacts within the UK, but we are increasing the range of relationships we have with companies in Europe, Asia, Australia and Latin America.”
The range of services provided by the company differentiates it from other players in the industry. Andy acknowledges the key contributing factors: “I think ATG provides everything that an airport could require, and this is one of our key strengths. We offer every kind of design concept, and follow it all the way through to the finished product. Our workforce has an impressive depth of knowledge in regards to airport technology, most notably located in our engineering team. ATG employs people that are highly skilled in dealing with product life-cycles, others that specialise in electronic design, as well as many other skills across the business. Our relationship with suppliers is also important, as if they let us down, then we might let our clients down. Hence, we involve our suppliers directly in the design phase to ensure their complete involvement in a project, and to maintain the strength of the supply chain. Communication is a key issue, as it keeps everyone on the same level within a project.”
The success of this supply chain can be supported by ATG’s recent contracts, as Andy outlines: “One of the major projects we have worked on recently has been at Luton Airport, where we were involved in the resurfacing of its runways. As the runway could only be closed at night, we had to deal with tight schedules in completing the various task required. We have also worked at the Category 3 airport in Bristol, and we had to maintain this status while the runway was resurfaced. This was a significant, and ultimately successful, contract, and it was the first instance of a company such as ATG being able to achieve this in the UK.
“There is still a range of products we are looking to design and manufacture, and we will aim to expand our product portfolio,” Andy continues. “ATG wants to increase its operations in different areas of an airport, specifically maintenance alongside our installation projects. We are also contemplating developing our baggage handling capabilities within terminals, so our interest is growing into airport interiors. Our primary focus is to consolidate our current position, but we are looking to progress in these areas soon. However, should an opportunity arise for this level of expansion, then it is an area ATG would be ready to move into.”
Andy describes some of the challenges ATG is likely to face in the future, and the reason for the company’s recent success: “Developing overseas means that we must manage the task of working in foreign locations, and overcome language and cultural differences to complete projects. The company must expand the relationships it has with customers on a global scale, and ensure that they get the service they would expect from a local business.
“I would say our success is down to the complete competence of our entire staff, and the way they work together. The management has a firmly established growth target, and it is sticking to this principle. He concludes that: “Everyone is working together to achieve these goals, and there is a great bond amongst the entire team.”
Products: Airport technology