Project Profile

  • Kandahar Afghanistan Airfield

    Delivering behind the wire

    In July 2007, ATCO Frontec Europe was awarded five contracts to provide multiple support services at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan (KAF) for more than 20,000 troops serving NATO’s International Security Assistance Force.

    More than 600 personnel were hired and deployed to the Kandahar Airfield to deliver airfield services under the most demanding conditions.

    ATCO has worked with various ministries in Afghanistan, including Foreign Affairs, Interior and Labor. We provided local Afghanis with considerable job and safety training that led to steady employment. These staff members were also provided with information about the roles of NATO and private business in the rebuilding of Afghanistan.



    Date:  2007 - 2016

    Location:  Kandahar, Afghanistan

    Client:  NATO

    Category:  Operational Support Services

    • Military Airfield Support

      The 2009 surge in NATO operations in southern Afghanistan pushed the number of aircraft operations at the base from 1,700 to 5,000 flights a week. The numbers meant that Kandahar had become the busiest one-runway airport in the world.

      The Frontec team provided a range of military airfield support services, including Combined Air Terminal Operations (CATO), where an average of 595 passengers and 305 tons of cargo were handled on a daily basis. In addition, we provided airfield cross servicing, which included provision of equipment for servicing all aircraft (military and civilian), operators and a complete workforce. An average of 11 to 19 aircraft were regularly being handled within a two hour period.

      Other services included:

      • Crash rescue services for an ICAO Cat 10 military airfield
      • End-to-end supply chain management and transport
      • Billeting
      • Pass control services
      • Facilities operations and maintenance
      • Engineering
      • Roads and grounds
      • Snow and ice control, sweeping and airfield operating surface maintenance
    • Fire/Crash Rescue Services

      We provided life-saving fire protection and first response services to both the Kandahar Airfield and all infrastructure on groundside. The scope of our full services included:

      • 24/7 emergency fire and medical response services throughout KAF
      • Airfield crash rescue services
      • Domestic fire and medical services within residential and industrial areas
      • Centralized dispatch function
      • Technical guidance and expert knowledge to support KAF Emergency services
      • Fire safety service and review of airfield infrastructure
      • Initial HAZMAT response and containment
    • Utilities Services

      Reliable services for water and wastewater management and waste disposal are essential in any environment. Our complete water and wastewater services included:

      • Freshwater production, storage and distribution
      • Water purification and treatment
      • Sample testing and monitoring
      • Wastewater treatment


      Managing waste disposal requires careful oversight of every component. Every site is different and poses unique challenges. Kandahar Airfield, a community of over 30,000, had significant waste management needs, including:

      • Site-wide clean-up
      • Managing transportation for waste collection
      • Sorting waste materials
      • Managing hazardous waste materials
      • Implementing and managing recycling and waste reduction programs
    • Incineration Plant

      In 2012, the Frontec team constructed a waste incineration plant on a new development to the south of Kandahar Airfield. With a remit to build an EU compliant facility capable of handling 100 tons of waste per day, we opted for a modular system, manufactured in Germany, with four identical waste incineration lines fed by presorted and shredded waste. In order to comply with EU emission standards, the combusted gases are passed through a flue gas filtration system.

      The plant components, some weighing over 30 tons, were transported overland from Germany through the former Soviet Republics and northern Afghanistan. Following extensive landscaping to mitigate the risk of seasonal flooding, the plant was assembled in the extreme heat of the Afghan summer, and commenced operation in October 2012.

      The installation of an emissions monitoring system analyzing and recording gaseous emissions from the four exhaust stacks provide continuous data, confirming that the plant is operating within EU emissions standards.