ATCO Frontec

Project Profile

  • Operating the North Warning System



    Date:  1987 - 2014 || NEW: April 2022 - 

    Location:  47 radar sites across Canada's Arctic and 3 facilities in Ontario

    Client:  Government of Canada

    Highlights: 250 full-time employees (20% Inuit) and 35% part-time Inuit workforce

    - Extensive Indigenous training program

    - Provision of O&M services for over 100 buildings, more than 300 bulk fuel storage tanks, 47 helipads, gravel runways.

    Built for Extremes

    If there's one thing ATCO Frontec understands, it's the extremes of the high arctic and working in one of the most severe environments on earth. The north demands strength of character, strength of community, adaptability, and determination. But we didn’t get there alone. 

    Part of our success is our ability to work with people in the north, to co-venture with them with understanding and mutual respect. By building on established partnerships and working hand in hand with northern communities, we work together to provide goods and services as well as training and employment opportunities. 

    Nasittuq Corporation is one of our hallmark partnerships that is majority Inuit owned, and has recently been awarded a new Government of Canada contract to provide in-service support for the North Warning System.



    a partnership that keeps canada safe

    The North Warning System (NWS) spans 5,000 km through the vast Canadian north from the Yukon to Labrador. Comprised of 47 radar sites and five logistic support sites, it’s key to North American air sovereignty and continental security. It’s a heroic undertaking to maintain and operate, requiring 24/7 support for technically complex radar, electronics and communications systems. In 1987, Frontec became the first Canadian contractor to operate this major operational defense system. 

    In 1994, Frontec partnered with the Pan Arctic Inuit Logistics Corporation to form Nasittuq Corporation, a 50-50 joint venture. From this partnership, a training program and a senior technical development program were developed, put in place to encourage Inuit beneficiaries to participate in the project as employees. Through the appointment of PAIL officers as Directors on the Nasittuq board, Inuit have an active role in the governance and management of the company.

    Frontec North Warning Wind Tower

    From 2001-2014, Nasittuq was contracted to operate and maintain the North Warning System. An integral component of our initial contract award and contract extensions, was our commitment to providing northern benefits: contracts and employment opportunities for northerners.


    2022: A new Era begins

    Since its inception, Nasittuq’s mission has been to provide exemplary technical and management services to our Government customers, while increasing opportunities for Inuit participation as trainees, employees, suppliers and owners. Today, as an Inuit majority-owned company, it offers a "True North and Pan-Arctic" solution for Canada's sovereignty and security. 

    Starting in April 2022, as Nasittuq assumes responsibility for the operations and maintenance of the North Warning System. In addition to meeting a 50.37% Inuit Benefits contract commitment, with a 1% increase every two years, we will develop, implement and manage a $2.5 million training and development program which focuses on all levels of employment across the NWS.

    We will also be implementing a sustainability program using green initiatives and practices, to help reduce greenhouse gases, potable water consumption, and improve facilities to reduce fuel consumption for heating.


    Demonstrating Advanced Operational Capabilities

    For the duration of the contract, Nasittuq maintained exceptional performance and operational availability for the NWS radar systems, consistently exceeding the 96% target and frequently exceeding 99% availability annually.

    Under the NWS contract Nasittuq was responsible for:

    • Operation and maintenance of radar sites
    • Helicopter travel to site for regular maintenance from five logistics support sites
    • 24/7 remote monitoring and control of radar sites from the NWS Support Centre
    • Bulk fuel delivery support and testing
    • Management and administration, logistics, supply chain and transportation of goods
    • Billeting and food services
    • Design engineering
    • North Warning Sunrise
    • North Warning Site
    • North Warning Helicopter