ACEC Arizona Award – What it means to Armstrong

November 2016

Armstrong-13-(ZF-9488-25533-1-013)We’re back again this month with an article from our Sr. Airport Planning Project Manager, Charlie McDermott. Armstrong’s Arizona ACEC award meant more than just recognition for our firm — it showed our ability to complete complicated projects with diverse stakeholders and very specific needs.

Let Armstrong help you with all of your commercial service airport planning and engineering needs! With more than 50 airport-specific professionals throughout the Mountain West and Southwest regions, we are uniquely positioned to provide quick, responsive, high-quality service.

Read the article here: Armstrong ACEC 2016


Armstrong Wins ACEC Arizona Grand Award

October 2016



Mary Ortega-Itsell (Genesis Consulting Group), Charlie McDermott, LEED AP (Armstrong Consultants), and Arlando Teller (Navajo DOT) accept the ACEC of AZ Grand Award.

Armstrong Consultants is a Grand Award winner in the 2016 American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Engineering Excellence Award program for their work with the Navajo Nation. The Armstrong team joins nine other firms that were recognized with Grand Awards for engineering excellence in the state.

“This award is a wonderful recognition addressing the improvements of the Navajo Nation’s airport system. It was a collaborative team effort led by Armstrong Consultants,” said Navajo DOT Acting Deputy Division Director Arlando Teller.

Armstrong entered the Navajo Nation Airport System Master Plan (NNASMP) in the Studies, Research, and Consulting Engineering Services category. The plan was the result of a coordinated effort, led by the Navajo Division of Transportation, to provide direction for the future development of the Nation’s system of key airports to better meet the needs of the communities they serve. The plan focused on five airports within the Navajo Nation across Arizona and New Mexico.

“This winning project reinforces our Armstrong values: Providing quality airport engineering and planning, engaging communities, and catering to client-specific needs,” said Armstrong President Dennis Corsi. “The award shows that our Mesa-based planning team has the technical insight to integrate feedback from the public into a coherent vision for the future of not just one facility, but an entire system of airports.”

Since 1967, U.S. engineering firms have entered their most innovative studies and projects in the ACEC Engineering Excellence Award program, which is known as “the Academy Awards of the engineering industry.” Arizona’s program has been operating since 1981. Each year, the recipients of the Arizona awards represent some of the most innovative solutions to complex public and private sector challenges throughout the state. ACEC stands apart by offering a truly competitive environment in which entries are judged alongside those of their peers. In total, 17 projects were submitted for consideration for the 2015 ACEC Arizona Engineering Excellence Awards.

Rise Above Tuskegee Airmen historical exhibit visits the Grand Valley

September 2016

Armstrong is a proud sponsor of the 2016 Rise Above exhibit’s visit to Grand Junction, the only trip the exhibit will make to Colorado in 2016! The display features a 160-degree panoramic film screen with an exciting and informative exhibit about the Tuskegee Airmen, who changed the face of American aviation. Visits are free for the general public from 1:30-4:30 from Sept. 21 – 23, and all day on Sept. 24.

Interested in a private screening with dinner? Check out our special event on the evening of Sept. 24. Tickets are just $15, and all proceeds go to the all-volunteer Commemorative Air Force Rocky Mountain Wing.

We can’t wait to see you there!

Rise Above Poster 2016


Aviation Day 2016: Showing kids that aviation is more than being a pilot

September 2016

Armstrong celebrated National Aviation Day on Aug. 19 with 100 middle-school students from Grand Junction, Colorado. Our mission was simple: Teach kids about aviation careers that involve engineering, drafting, manufacturing, and drones, among other aviation topics.

We all know that there’s a pilot shortage — and Aviation Day was geared to help children learn about becoming a pilot themselves. A larger component, though, was demonstrating that working in the aviation industry doesn’t mean that you have to be in the cockpit! For every pilot, a team of support staff is ready and waiting to make sure the plane is fit to fly, the airport is fit for landing and takeoff, and that operations continue safely and smoothly.

Want to learn more about hosting your own Aviation Day? Send us an email today!

Congratulations, Robert Olislagers from Centennial Airport!

September 2016



One of Colorado’s best-known airport executives, Robert Olislagers, received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Association of Airport Executives at the NWAAAE conference on Sept. 1, 2016. The Distinguished Service Award is one of AAAE’s highest levels of recognition. Men and women receive the award as a mark of accomplishments in their professional and personal lives. Respected leaders of their own communities, these men and women also contribute to other aviation organizations, serve AAAE and its chapters and participate in civic and community affairs. Distinguished Service Award winners exemplify the best in airport management by continually bringing credit to the profession and the aviation community. All DSA winners are Accredited Airport Executives (A.A.E.) and exemplify the standards accreditation seeks to inspire.

“Robert is an invaluable colleague in the airport community who has served in a variety of important roles, including widely-respected airport director and active AAAE member,” said AAAE Chair Carl Newman, A.A.E., CEO of the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority. “In addition to his years of service to the aviation industry, Robert has been so passionate about airports that he has undertaken a large number of volunteer positions, resulting in invaluable improvements throughout our industry.”

Armstrong congratulates Robert for this outstanding achievement.


New Mexico airports through history

August 2016

Jacquie Smith_2016Did you know that airports have played a key role in promoting economic success in New Mexico since the inception of flight? A community drew together in Roswell to bring the Roswell International Air Center to life, revitalizing that municipality’s economy. Other locations, like Lordsburg, New Mexico, hosted aviation pioneers such as Charles Lindbergh, sparking an ongoing interest in aviation and associated technologies.

Airport Engineering Project Manager Jacquie Smith explores these exciting historical events — and explains exactly how those communities were better off because of their involvement in aviation — in this month’s article for the New Mexico Municipal League conference.

Can’t make it to the event? No worries! Check out Jacquie’s article here: New Mexico Airports Through History

Armstrong engineers support Colorado Mesa engineering program

August 2016

16 7.19 Civil Engineering Press Conference - 17 of 46

David Hartmann, P.E., speaks at Colorado Mesa University’s civil engineering program launch.

Armstrong is pleased to support the new Colorado Mesa University civil engineering program. Vice President David Hartmann has played an instrumental role in starting the program, which complements the existing mechanical engineering program at the school. Students who attend Colorado Mesa will receive an engineering degree through a joint program with CU Boulder.

From the Grand Junction Sentinel:

CMU launched a four-year mechanical engineering program in 2008 by working with CU, and the new civil engineering program will work the same way — students take CMU classes for two years and are then enrolled at CU for the final two years, but are able to stay at Colorado Mesa.

Benefits of the program include paying less for tuition and the opportunity for greater graduate retention in the western Colorado workforce, according to CMU President Tim Foster.

A university survey of local engineering firms showed that more than 60 percent of employers thought there was a “moderate or high need” for new civil engineering graduates.

Emma Gardner, a sophomore at Colorado Mesa, is one of three students who are already enrolled in the new program. Gardner said staying in Grand Junction will motivate her to find work here after graduation.

“Once you get into a community, it can make moving back more difficult,” Gardner said. “Because I’m graduating here, I’ll have more contacts here in the Grand Valley and I’ll be more integrated in the civil engineering community.”

The new program is coupled with a $26 million engineering building that’s set to break ground in September and open in August 2017.


Kathryn Bennett, CPSM, to speak at ACEC national forum

August 2016

Armstrong-008Planning to attend the fall conference for the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC)? Arrive early on Oct. 19 to attend the Sales and Marketing Forum from 8:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m., and attend a round-table discussion hosted by Marketing Manager Kathryn Bennett. Kathryn will be discussing the importance of brand personality and its practical applications in both traditional and digital media arenas.

Other topics include the use of Client Relationship Management (CRM) systems, an update on the state of the industry, account-based management strategies, and “disruptive” marking techniques that are on the horizon for architecture, engineering, and construction firms.

You can register for the forum here. Forum registration is limited to ACEC members. Keep in mind that attendance at the forum is included in general conference registration, also!

The conference is here in our backyard at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado. We can’t wait to host the nation’s top engineering firms in Colorado again this year!

Kathryn is a Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM) with more than five years of experience in the A/E/C industry. She began her career in Department of Defense chemistry laboratories and eventually made her way into marketing via a Master’s degree in Health Promotions and Community Health Science at Texas A&M University. Kathryn is an active member of the Society for Marketing Professional Services and serves as the Western Slope liaison for ACEC marketing planning and education. You can find her on LinkedIn and Twitter at @TheFlyMarketer or @ArmstrongSoars.

Aviation Day volunteers “escape” for the day

August 2016

IMG_1498Our valued Aviation Day volunteers, from left: Jessica Callow (HR manager), Allison Thomas (Airport Engineer), Camber Noren (Marketing Coordinator), Eric Rink (Airport Engineer), and Gary Roe (Drafter).

Aviation Day festivities required a lot of planning this year — Armstrong has been working on the project since February! This exceptional team helped Aviation Day “take off” with their investment of time and energy. All of these employees personally delivered presentations or provided boots-on-the-ground support during Aviation Day, which is why we took some extra time to say “thank you” after the event was over.

This group got the chance to visit the Epic Escape Game here in Grand Junction, where they solved the most difficult puzzle room with five minutes to spare! Only 28 percent of participants actually “escape” from the room … clearly, we have some of the best and brightest employees here at Armstrong. Thanks to everyone for your hard work, and we can’t wait for Aviation Day 2017!


Grand Junction Aviation Day Takes Flight!

August 2016

IMG_20160819_110307450Aug. 19 is National Aviation Day, a date set aside by FDR to honor Orville Wright’s birthday and create an opportunity to celebrate all aspects of flight. Today, Armstrong hosted an event for 100 middle-school students from throughout the Grand Valley, all of whom had special interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. Aviation Day activities at Colorado Mesa University included:

  • Live air-traffic control broadcasts by The Ninety-Nines (an all-women’s pilot association)
  • Building model airplane wings with the Experimental Aircraft Association
  • Shooting water rockets and building balsa wood planes with 4H
  • Learning about drafting and pavement engineering from Armstrong staff
  • Presentations from the Civil Air Patrol
  • And drone demonstrations from the Grand Junction Modeleers

We are so excited to have been a part of this incredible event! The children and volunteers both enjoyed a lovely morning learning about all aspects of aviation science, careers, and safety.

Armstrong can’t wait to start planning for Aviation Day 2017! Contact Kathryn Bennett,, if you are interested in participating.

Jenny Watts, M.S.A., talks planning with the Airplane Geeks

June 2016

Jenny DOWNSIZE Web formatOur own Jenny Watts, M.S.A., was featured on this week’s Airplane Geeks podcast #405!

Jenny is an airport planner with seven years of experience in the aviation industry. She holds a Master of Aeronautical Science (M.A.S.) degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a B.S. in Aeronautical Management Technology from Arizona State University. She has first-hand experience with large commercial service and general aviation airports, and she has completed numerous projects including airside/landside operations, community relations, planning, and business development. She has served as an adjunct faculty member at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide, and she is a freelance contributor to The Arizona Aviation Journal.

Have a question for Jenny? She can be reached at

How a solar airplane could change airport planning forever

June 2016

POC Prototype Sun Flyer hi-res
Did you know that Centennial, Colorado, is the home to the Solar Flyer, an entirely electric aircraft? This solar plane’s prototype was revealed by manufacturer Aero Electric Aircraft Corporation (AEAC) on May 11, 2016. Armstrong’s team is going to be at the Colorado Airport Operators Association Conference this week in Durango, and we’re distributing this article to help our colleagues learn about the airport planning issues that could come along with the introduction of this aircraft. What do you think? Will solar planes be a boon or a bust for airport operators? Check out this article by John Rostas, MBA, to find out more: Stealth Mode - How a solar-powered aircraft could quietly change the way airports do business

White Paper: Jenny Watts shows how aviation meets astronomy

May 2016


Ever thought about how airport lighting can affect the scientific community’s ability to observe the starts? In Arizona, astronomy is big business, and airports play a critical role in keeping our night sky pristine.

Our own Jenny Watts has published a white paper with recommendations about being a “good neighbor” whereas Dark Sky compliance is concerned.

Download Jenny’s white paper about Dark Sky compliance and protection here: Armstrong Dark Sky Compliance White Paper


Flagstaff’s Helmick wins big at AzAA conference

May 2016


azaa 2

Astronomers and aviators — want to learn more about keeping our night skies pristine for everyone? Jenny Watts, one of our top-notch planning experts, wrote this incredible article in honor of Flagstaff’s airport manager, Barney Helmick, A.A.E., receiving Airport Executive of the Year for 2016 from the Arizona Airports Association. Mr. Helmick is pictured above (right) with AzAA board member and Armstrong employee Charlie McDermott. Well done, Flagstaff, and we’ll see you at the next AzAA conference.


Armstrong Announces New Denver Office

July 2015

Armstrong Consultants Inc. is pleased to announce the opening of a new Denver, Colorado office. Jake Hoban, P.E., a Denver native, will be pioneering the Denver office to better serve the needs of our clients on the Front Range and Eastern Plains.  Both the opening of the new office and Jake’s leadership initiative demonstrate Armstrong’s strategic growth and commitment to quality and service, which are the foundations of Armstrong’s personalized business approach.

Armstrong specializes in airport planning, engineering and construction administration services and has completed  1,200 projects at more than 130 airports throughout the Western United States – a number which continues to grow. The new Denver office will allow us to further develop our on-site presence and personal relationships in order to deliver high quality projects for our eastern Colorado clients. With the opening of the new office, Jake will provide an exceptional level of service and responsiveness, with the added benefit of close proximity to more of Armstrong’s clients, to the FAA, and to the State Aeronautics office. Denver joins Grand Junction, Phoenix and Albuquerque in hosting an Armstrong office, their staff and families.

Point of Contact
Having been born and raised in the Denver Metro Area, this is truly a homecoming for Jake. After graduation from the Colorado School of Mines, Jake worked as a land development engineer until he experienced his first airport project in 2006. Since then, Jake’s main focus has been airports and the aviation field. While with Armstrong, he designed and administered the construction of an award-winning runway rehabilitation project at Sterling Municipal Airport. Jake then spent time in Boston and Atlanta before returning to Armstrong, a company which Jake says, “is a strong, close-knit team, grounded in a family atmosphere.”  We are delighted to have Jake back with the Armstrong team!


Armstrong Unveils New Company Branding

January 2014

Armstrong Consultants, Inc., an industry leader in airport consulting services, today unveiled their new corporate logo and enhanced interactive website,

Over the past three decades, the firm has been building upon their experience and expertise and delivering on projects at commercial service, general aviation, and military airfields across the western United States.  Armstrong is recognized as a major player in the aviation consulting industry with capabilities and resources to deliver on all sizes and types of projects.

Armstrong President Dennis Corsi stated, “We’re thankful for the long-standing relationships we have with our existing clients and for their role in helping us reach this milestone. We consider our smaller general aviation projects just as important as our larger commercial service projects and look forward to continuing to serve their needs.”

The firm’s goal is to maintain existing client relationships while serving larger airports and a wider market – a little bit each year.  The firm will also continue to leverage assets to stay in the forefront of future airport challenges.  “Because we specialize exclusively in aviation, we’re able to offer everything from assisting with airport guiding documents, minimum standards, and rules and regulations to airport marketing, grant administration and funding strategies”, says Armstrong Vice President David Hartmann.  “We constantly monitor advances in aviation and aerospace technology, dynamic environmental issues, impacts to local economic development, and of course, changes in FAA and state regulations.  This ensures that our sponsors are able to meet future demand and capitalize on potential new revenue enhancement opportunities,” David continued.

Corporate Development & Marketing Manager Patricia Sliter stated, “As an employee-owned organization, each of us take our long-standing relationships with clients personally. This rebranding effort is our way of being very proactive in responding to client needs, demonstrates our passion for aviation, and reinforces our commitment to providing exceptional quality and service.”

As more and more airport sponsors become aware of Armstrong’s depth of experience and service capabilities, they are bringing them on board to address future airport development needs.  More broadly, the firm promotes a wide variant of related and value-added services that complement their airport-exclusive focus.

Armstrong Consultants, Inc. is an airport planning, environmental, engineering and construction administration firm serving commercial service, general aviation and military airports across the western United States. Armstrong is based in Grand Junction, Colorado with offices in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Mesa, Arizona.

FAA Selects Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research and Test Sites

December 2013

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today announced the selection of the six public entities that will develop unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) research and test sites around the country. These congressionally-mandated test sites will conduct critical research into the certification and operational requirements necessary to safely integrate UAS into the national airspace over the next several years.  For a complete list of UAS test sites and further information about the FAA program, please visit:

Justin Pietz Named to Airport Business’ Top 40 Under Forty – 2013

October 2013

Justin Pietz’ grandfather was an aviator and flew a B25 in WWII and his uncle flew F4 Phantoms. Aviation is in the genes in this family.

He recalls wanting to work in the aviation industry at a very young age. That desire led him to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where he received a Bachelor’s degree in aerospace studies and a pilot certificate.

Pietz began his aviation career working as a line service technician for a FBO in Grand Junction, Colorado. Working there provided him with. . .

To view the complete article, please visit:

Firm’s Depth in Arizona Expanded

September 2013

Armstrong Consultants, Inc. is proud to announce that Charlie McDermott, LEED AP and Nancy Wiley, CFI, MBA have joined the firm and will be based in our Phoenix, Arizona office. Combined, they bring 50 years of additional airport expertise to the company building upon our existing airport planning, engineering and grant management capabilities.

Charles McDermott, LEED AP
Senior Project Manager

Charlie has 30 years of airport planning, environmental, engineering and construction experience at 82 airfields in 15 states. He will be responsible for driving development of airport master plans, airport layout plans, environmental assessments, and other planning-related studies.

Charlie created the original vision of a sustainable airport master plan while serving as principal planner for the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport in New York. With the goals of developing a diverse and innovative approach to sustainability planning, Charlie created initiatives aimed at reducing environmental impacts, maintaining a high, stable level of economic growth, and increasing the integration of the local community. He was instrumental in securing FAA funding and approval of the country’s first sustainable master plan in 2010. The FAA has since funded 25 sustainable airport planning projects across the United States.

Charlie earned an Associates of Applied Science degree from Onondaga Community College, is a LEED-accredited professional and a noted author and presenter of sustainability planning. He currently resides in Scottsdale, Arizona with his wife and two children.

Nancy Wiley, CFI, MBA
Client Services Manager

Nancy has over 20 years of aviation experience both as a commercial pilot and in airport project management with specialization in airport and land use planning, grant management, aircraft operations, community relations, and noise abatement. She will be responsible for supporting the firm’s existing clients and expanding Armstrong’s client base in Arizona and across the southwest region.  Previously with the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) Aeronautics, Nancy managed over 250 airport development grants worth $275 million for 42 Arizona airports while also assisting sponsors with planning and funding for their five-year Airport Capital Improvement Plans.

She has provided technical expertise on airspace issues, flight procedures, and noise abatement and participated in numerous EAs, EISs, Master Plans and noise compatibility studies.

Attending Embry Riddle Aeronautical University at the age of 16, she went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Science and achieve the designation of single engine land (SEL) and multi-engine land (MEL) commercial pilot with an instrument rating. She also earned a Masters in Business Administration from Arizona State University. She resides in Peoria, Arizona with her two children and two chowchow puppies.

Mike Garcia Lands in Armstrong’s Albuquerque Office

February 2013

Armstrong Consultants, Inc. is pleased to announce that Principal and Engineer Mike Garcia has moved to its Albuquerque Office.

Relocating from the company’s Grand Junction Corporate Headquarters to the Albuquerque area, Mike will serve as Principal-in-Charge for New Mexico and eastern Colorado clients.  “Building capacity in our New Mexico location has been a part of Armstrong’s long-range strategic plan for several years,” indicated company president Dennis Corsi, C.M.  “Over the past three years, the increased workload and client base in our Albuquerque office has resulted in this vision becoming a reality, and it is with great pride that we make this announcement.”

As a native of New Mexico, Mike is elated about the return to his New Mexico roots.  “This relocation does a few things.  It allows our local office to be even more responsive to our airport clients in this state, provides even greater personalized service and gives us added opportunity to continue building upon relationships already established within the FAA, NMDOT, Municipalities and Tribal governments,” Mike stated.

The firm works with community leaders throughout the western United States to help drive local economic development through asset- improvement and enhancement projects at area airports. The goals are to aid city, county and tribal governments in the improvement of airport safety and security, the installation of technologies that advance civil aeronautics and increase efficiencies, and the development of airport infrastructure to support increasing demand well into the future.

Armstrong Consultants, Inc. is an airport planning, environmental, engineering and construction administration firm serving commercial service, general aviation, Native American and military airfields throughout the western United States. The company is based in Grand Junction, Colorado with branch offices in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Gilbert, Arizona.