A summer job spun into a 30-plus year career and a new opportunity to support the winds of change for Allan Duncan. The Royal Roads University Bachelor of Commerce graduate started working for Canadian Space Service Ltd. (CSS) on his summer breaks from Algonquin College Applied Arts and Technology where he was studying business. It was the best job, he says, as he was paid to travel across Canada painting radomes – or radar domes – at military bases along the way. The fibreglass, weatherproof enclosures protect or conceal a radar system or antenna. Radomes are used for weather radars, air traffic control, satellite communications and telemetry.
“We would start in Ontario and one crew would go east and one crew would go west,” Duncan says. “Each military base would have two to three of these radomes. You would climb up them with a five-gallon bucket of paint on your hip.”
After graduating from college, Duncan was keen to have his own business and approached CSS founder Joe Coghlan to see if he was interested in taking on a partner. Ultimately he ended up purchasing the company in 1989, and with his business partner Robert Valiquette, they expanded the company to include contracts with air traffic control and weather radar services.
“It had been a summer job but we thought, ‘we can’t survive on just one contract,’” Duncan says. The pair started looking at other radomes in the country and landed contracts with NAV Canada, securing work at major airports across the country...
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