Area control center


In air traffic control, an area control center (ACC), also known as a center or en-route center, is a facility responsible for controlling aircraft flying in the airspace of a given flight information region (FIR) at high altitudes between airport approaches and departures. In the US, such a center is referred to as an air route traffic control center (ARTCC).

This temporary flight restriction map from the Federal Aviation Administration shows the boundaries of the regions controlled by the area control centers within and adjoining the contiguous United States, as well as the FAA location identifier of each such center operated by the United States

A center typically accepts traffic from — and ultimately passes traffic to — the control of a terminal control center or another center. Most centers are operated by the national governments of the countries in which they are located. The general operations of centers worldwide, and the boundaries of the airspace each center controls, are governed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

In some cases, the function of an area control center and a terminal control center are combined in a single facility. For example, NATS combines the London Terminal Control Centre (LTCC) and London Area Control Centre (LACC) in Swanwick, Hampshire.

FAA definition

Houston Air Route Traffic Control Center, United States

The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) defines an ARTCC as:

[a] facility established to provide air traffic control service to aircraft operating on IFR flight plans within controlled airspace, principally during the en-route phase of flight. When equipment capabilities and controller workload permit, certain advisory/assistance services may be provided to VFR aircraft.[1]

An ARTCC is the U.S. equivalent of an area control center (ACC). There are 22 ARTCCs located in nineteen states.[2]

Subdivision of airspace into sectors


The flight information region controlled by a center may be further administratively subdivided into areas comprising two to nine sectors. Each area is staffed by a set of controllers trained on all the sectors in that area.

Sectors use distinct radio frequencies for communication with aircraft. Each sector also has secure landline communications with adjacent sectors, approach controls, areas, ARTCCs, flight service centers, and military aviation control facilities. These landline communications are shared among all sectors that need them and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Aircraft passing from one sector to another are handed off and requested to change frequencies to contact the next sector controller. Sector boundaries are specified by an aeronautical chart.

Center operations

Controllers at work at the Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center, United States

Air traffic controllers working within a center communicate via radio with pilots of instrument flight rules (IFR) aircraft passing through the center's airspace. A center's communication frequencies (typically in the very high frequency aviation bands, using amplitude modulation (AM) 118 MHz to 137 MHz, for overland control) are published in aeronautical charts and manuals, and are also announced to a pilot by the previous controller during a hand-off. Most VHF radio assignments also have a UHF (225 to 380 MHz) paired frequency used for military flights.

In addition to radios to communicate with aircraft, center controllers have access to communication links with other centers and TRACONs. In the United States, centers are electronically linked through the National Airspace System, which allows nationwide coordination of traffic flow to manage congestion. Centers in the United States also have electronic access to nationwide radar data.

Controllers use radar to monitor the progress of flights and instruct aircraft to perform course adjustments as needed to maintain separation from other aircraft. Aircraft with center contact can be readily distinguished by their transponders. Pilots may request altitude adjustments or course changes for reasons including avoidance of turbulence or adverse weather conditions.

Controllers can assign routing relative to location fixes derived from latitude and longitude, or from radionavigation beacons such as VORs.

Typically, centers have advance notice of a plane's arrival and intentions from its pre-filed flight plan.

Oceanic air traffic control

The FAA provides air traffic control services over U.S. territory and over international waters where it has been delegated such authority by the International Civil Aviation Organization. This map depicts overflight fee regions. The yellow regions are where the U.S. provides enroute ATC services (mostly over land territory). The blue regions are where the U.S. provides oceanic ATC services over international waters.

Some centers have ICAO-designated responsibility for airspace located over an ocean such as ZNY and ZOA, the majority of which is international airspace. Because substantial volumes of oceanic airspace lie beyond the range of ground-based radars, oceanic airspace controllers have to estimate the position of an airplane from pilot reports and computer models (procedural control), rather than observing the position directly (radar control, also known as positive control). Pilots flying over an ocean can determine their own positions accurately using the Global Positioning System or other means, and can supply periodic updates to a center.

A center's control service for an oceanic flight information region may be operationally distinct from its service for one over land, employing different communications frequencies, controllers, and a different ICAO code.

Pilots typically use high frequency radio instead of very high frequency radio to communicate with a center when flying over the ocean, because of HF's relatively greater propagation over long distances. Military aircraft, however, are typically equipped with ARC-231 SATCOMs that allow over-the-horizon communication.[3]

List of area control centers

Area control centers under Fukuoka Flight Information Region (FIR) of Japan

Area control centers (ACCs) control IFR air traffic in their flight information region (FIR).

The current list of FIRs and ACCs is maintained by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).[4] Note that the cited ICAO source gives the shapefile coordinates for each FIR, and also its page source gives a list of current ACCs in text form. The following is the alphabetic list of all ACCs and their FIRs as of October 2011:

ICAO code Type FIR or ACC Oceanic or other subtype Country or territory
AGGG FIR Honiara ACC   Solomon Islands
ANAU FIR Nauru ACC   Nauru
AYPM FIR Port Moresby ACC   Papua New Guinea
BGGL FIR Nuuk ACC   Greenland (  Denmark)
BIRD FIR Reykjavík ACC   Iceland
CZEG FIR Edmonton ACC   Canada
CZQM FIR Moncton Southern ACC   Canada
CZQX FIR Gander Domestic ACC   Canada
CZUL FIR Montreal ACC   Canada
CZVR FIR Vancouver ACC   Canada
CZWG FIR Winnipeg ACC   Canada
CZYZ FIR Toronto ACC   Canada
DAAA FIR Alger ACC   Algeria
DGAC FIR Accra ACC   Ghana
DIII FIR Abidjan ACC   Ivory Coast
DNKK FIR Kano ACC   Nigeria
DRRR FIR Niamey ACC   Niger
DTTC FIR Tunis ACC   Tunisia
EZZZ FIR Eurocontrol Eurocontrol   Belgium
EBBU FIR Brussels ACC   Belgium/  Luxembourg
EDGG FIR Langen ACC   Germany
EDMM FIR Munich ACC   Germany
EDUU UIR Rhein ACC   Germany
EDVV UIR Hannover ACC   Germany
EDWW FIR Bremen ACC   Germany
EDYY UIR Maastricht ACC   Belgium/  Germany/  Netherlands
EETT FIR Tallinn ACC   Estonia
EFIN FIR Helsinki ACC   Finland
EGGX FIR Shanwick Oceanic OCA Oceanic   United Kingdom
EGPX FIR Scottish ACC   United Kingdom
EGQQ FIR Scottish ACC (Mil) Military   United Kingdom
EGTT FIR London ACC   United Kingdom
EHAA FIR Amsterdam ACC   Netherlands
EISN FIR Shannon ACC   Ireland
EKDK FIR Copenhagen ACC   Denmark
ENOB FIR Bodo Oceanic OCA Oceanic   Norway
ENOR FIR Polaris ACC   Norway
EPWW FIR Warszawa ACC   Poland
ESAA FIR Sweden ACC   Sweden
ESMM FIR Malmo ACC   Sweden
ESOS FIR Stockholm ACC   Sweden
EVRR FIR Riga ACC   Latvia
EYVL FIR Vilnius ACC   Lithuania
FABL FIR Bloemfontein ACC   South Africa
FACA FIR Cape Town ACC   South Africa
FACT FIR Cape Town ACC   South Africa
FADN FIR Durban ACC   South Africa
FAJO FIR Johannesburg Oceanic ACC Oceanic   South Africa
FAJX FIR Johannesburg ACC   South Africa
FAPX FIR Port Elizabeth ACC   South Africa
FBGR FIR Gaborone ACC   Botswana
FCCC FIR Brazzaville ACC   Congo, Republic of the
FIMM FIR Mauritius ACC   Mauritius
FKKK FIR Douala ACC   Cameroon
FLFI FIR Lusaka ACC   Zambia
FMCX FIR Comoros ACC   Comoros
FMMM FIR Antananarivo ACC   Madagascar
FNAN FIR Luanda ACC   Angola
FOOO FIR Libreville ACC   Gabon
FQBE FIR Beira ACC   Mozambique
FSSS FIR Seychelles ACC   Seychelles
FTTT FIR N'Djamena ACC   Chad
FVHF FIR Harare ACC   Zimbabwe
FWLL FIR Lilongwe ACC   Malawi
FYWF FIR Windhoek ACC   Namibia
FZZA FIR Kinshasa ACC   Congo, Democratic Republic of the
GCCC FIR Canarias ACC   Canary Islands (  Spain)
GLRB FIR Roberts ACC   Liberia
GMMM FIR Casablanca ACC   Morocco
GOOO FIR Dakar Oceanic ACC Oceanic   Senegal
GVSC FIR Sal Oceanic ACC Oceanic   Cape Verde
HAAA FIR Addis Ababa ACC   Ethiopia
HBBA FIR Bujumbura ACC   Burundi
HCSM FIR Mogadishu ACC   Somalia
HECC FIR Cairo ACC   Egypt
HHAA FIR Asmara ACC   Egypt
HKNA FIR Nairobi ACC   Kenya
HLLL FIR Tripoli ACC   Libya
HRYR FIR Kigali ACC   Rwanda
HSSX FIR Khartoum ACC   Sudan
HTDC FIR Dar es Salaam ACC   Tanzania
HUEC FIR Entebbe ACC   Uganda
KZAB FIR Albuquerque ARTCC   United States
KZAK FIR Oakland Oceanic ARTCC Oceanic   United States
KZAU FIR Chicago ARTCC   United States
KZBW FIR Boston ARTCC   United States
KZDC FIR Washington ARTCC   United States
KZDV FIR Denver ARTCC   United States
KZFW FIR Ft Worth ARTCC   United States
KZHU FIR Houston ARTCC   United States
KZID FIR Indianapolis ARTCC   United States
KZJX FIR Jacksonville ARTCC   United States
KZKC FIR Kansas City ARTCC   United States
KZLA FIR Los Angeles ARTCC   United States
KZLC FIR Salt Lake ARTCC   United States
KZMA FIR Miami ARTCC   United States
KZME FIR Memphis ARTCC   United States
KZMP FIR Minneapolis ARTCC   United States
KZNY FIR New York ARTCC   United States
KZOA FIR Oakland ARTCC   United States
KZOB FIR Cleveland ARTCC   United States
KZSE FIR Seattle ARTCC   United States
KZTL FIR Atlanta ARTCC   United States
KZWY FIR New York Oceanic ARTCC Oceanic   United States
LAAA FIR Tirana ACC   Albania
LBSR FIR Sofia ACC   Bulgaria
LBWR FIR Varna ACC   Bulgaria
LCCC FIR Nicosia ACC   Cyprus
LDZO FIR Zagreb ACC   Croatia
LECB FIR Barcelona ACC   Spain
LECM FIR Madrid ACC   Spain
LECS FIR Sevilla ACC   Spain
LFBB FIR Bordeaux ACC   France
LFEE FIR Reims ACC   France
LFFF FIR Paris ACC   France
LFMM FIR Marseille ACC   France
LFRR FIR Brest ACC   France
LGGG FIR Athens ACC   Greece
LHCC FIR Budapest ACC   Hungary
LIBB FIR Brindisi ACC   Italy
LIMM FIR Milano ACC   Italy
LIRR FIR Roma ACC   Italy
LJLA FIR Ljubljana ACC   Slovenia
LKAA FIR Praha ACC   Czech Republic
LLLL FIR Tel-Aviv ACC   Israel
LMMM FIR Malta ACC   Malta
LOVV FIR Wien ACC   Austria
LPPC FIR Lisboa ACC   Portugal
LPPO FIR Santa Maria Oceanic ACC Oceanic   Azores (  Portugal)
LQSB FIR Sarajevo ACC   Bosnia and Herzegovina
LRBB FIR Bucuresti ACC   Romania
LSAG FIR Geneve ACC    Switzerland
LSAS FIR Switzerland ACC    Switzerland
LSAZ FIR Zurich ACC    Switzerland
LTAA FIR Ankara ACC   Turkey
LTBB FIR Istanbul ACC   Turkey
LUUU FIR Chisinau ACC   Moldova
LWSS FIR Skopje ACC   North Macedonia
LYBA FIR Beograd ACC   Serbia
LZBB FIR Bratislava ACC   Slovakia
MDCS FIR Santo Domingo ACC   Dominican Republic
MHTG FIR Central American ACC   Honduras
MKJK FIR Kingston ACC   Jamaica
MMFO FIR Mazatlan Oceanic ACC Oceanic   Mexico
MMFR FIR Mexico ACC   Mexico
MPZL FIR Panama ACC   Panama
MTEG FIR Port-au-Prince ACC   Haiti
MUFH FIR Habana ACC   Cuba
MYNA FIR Nassau ACC   Bahamas
NFFF FIR Nadi ACC   Fiji
NTTT FIR Tahiti ACC   French Polynesia (  France)
NWWX FIR Nouméa ACC   New Caledonia (  France)
NZZC FIR New Zealand ACC   New Zealand
NZZO FIR Auckland Oceanic ACC Oceanic   New Zealand
OAKX FIR Kabul ACC   Afghanistan
OBBB FIR Bahrain ACC   Bahrain
OEJD FIR Jeddah ACC   Saudi Arabia
OIIX FIR Tehran ACC   Iran
OJAC FIR Amman ACC   Jordan
OKAC FIR Kuwait ACC   Kuwait
OLBB FIR Beirut ACC   Lebanon
OMAE FIR Emirates ACC   United Arab Emirates
OOMM FIR Muscat ACC   Oman
OPKR FIR Karachi ACC   Pakistan
OPLR FIR Lahore ACC   Pakistan
ORBB FIR Baghdad ACC   Iraq
OSTT FIR Damascus ACC   Syria
OYSC FIR Sanaa ACC   Yemen
PAZA FIR Anchorage ACC   United States
PAZN FIR Anchorage Oceanic ACC Oceanic   United States
PHZH FIR Honolulu ACC   United States
RCAA FIR Taipei ACC   Taiwan
RJJJ FIR Fukuoka ACC   Japan
RKRR FIR Incheon ACC   South Korea
RPHI FIR Manila ACC   Philippines
SACF FIR Cordoba ACC   Argentina
SACU UIR Cordoba UIR   Argentina
SAEF FIR Ezeiza ACC   Argentina
SAEU UIR Ezeiza UIR   Argentina
SAMF FIR Mendoza ACC   Argentina
SAMV UIR Mendoza UIR   Argentina
SARR FIR Resistencia ACC   Argentina
SAVF FIR Comodoro Rivadavia ACC   Argentina
SAVU UIR Comodoro Rivadavia UIR   Argentina
SBAO FIR Atlantico ACC   Brazil
SBAZ FIR Amazonica ACC   Brazil
SBBS FIR Brasilia ACC   Brazil
SBCW FIR Curitiba ACC   Brazil
SBRE FIR Recife ACC   Brazil
SCCZ FIR Punta Arenas ACC   Chile
SCEZ FIR Santiago ACC   Chile
SCFZ FIR Antofagasta ACC   Chile
SCIZ FIR Easter Island ACC   Easter Island (  Chile)
SCTZ FIR Puerto Montt ACC   Chile
SEFG FIR Guayaquil ACC   Ecuador
SGFA FIR Asuncion ACC   Paraguay
SKEC FIR Barranquilla ACC   Colombia
SKED FIR Bogota ACC   Colombia
SLLF FIR La Paz ACC   Bolivia
SMPM FIR Paramaribo ACC   Suriname
SOOO FIR Rochambeau ACC   French Guiana (  France)
SPIM FIR Lima ACC   Peru
SUEO FIR Montevideo ACC   Uruguay
SVZM FIR Maiquetia ACC   Venezuela
SYGC FIR Georgetown ACC   Guyana
TJZS FIR San Juan ACC   Puerto Rico (  United States)
TNCF FIR Curaçao ACC   Curaçao (  Netherlands)
TTZP FIR Piarco ACC   Trinidad and Tobago
UAAX FIR Almaty ACC   Kazakhstan
UACX FIR Astana ACC   Kazakhstan
UAFX FIR Bishkek ACC   Kyrgyzstan
UASS FIR Semipalatinsk ACC   Kazakhstan
UDDD FIR Yerevan ACC   Armenia
UEMH FIR Tyoply Klyuch ACC   Russia
UENN FIR Nyurba ACC   Russia
UESS FIR Chersky ACC   Russia
UESU FIR Zyryanka ACC   Russia
UEVV FIR Gigansk ACC   Russia
UGEE FIR Yerevan/Zvartnots ACC   Russia
UGGG FIR Tbilisi ACC   Georgia
UHBI FIR Magdagachi ACC   Russia
UHBI FIR Magdagachi ACC   Russia
UHHH FIR Khabarovsk/Novy   Russia
UHMI FIR Mys Shmidta ACC   Russia
UHMM FIR Magadan Oceanic Oceanic   Russia
UHMP FIR Pevek ACC   Russia
UHNN FIR Nikolayevsk-na-Amure ACC   Russia
UHPT FIR Tilichiki ACC   Russia
UHPU FIR Ust-Khairyozovo ACC   Russia
UHSH FIR Okha ACC   Russia
UIKB FIR Bodaybo ACC   Russia
UIKK FIR Kirensk ACC   Russia
UKBV FIR Kyiv ACC   Ukraine
UKCV FIR Donetsk ACC   Ukraine
UKDV FIR Dnepropetrovsk ACC   Ukraine
UKFV FIR Simferopol ACC   Ukraine
UKHV FIR Kharkiv ACC   Ukraine
UKLV FIR Lviv ACC   Ukraine
UKOV FIR Odesa ACC   Ukraine
ULLL FIR Sankt Peterburg ACC   Russia
ULOL FIR Velikiye Luki ACC   Russia
UMKD FIR Kazan ACC   Russia
UMMV FIR Minsk ACC   Belarus
UNLL FIR Kolpashevo ACC   Russia
UOTT FIR Turukhansk ACC   Russia
URRV FIR Rostov-Na-Donu ACC   Russia
USDK FIR Mys Kamenny ACC   Russia
USHB FIR Beryozovo ACC   Russia
USHH FIR Khanty-Mansiysk ACC   Russia
UTAK FIR Turkmenbashi ACC   Turkmenistan
UTNR FIR Nukus ACC   Uzbekistan
UTSD FIR Samarkand ACC   Uzbekistan
UTTR FIR Tashkent ACC   Uzbekistan
UUWV FIR Moscow ACC   Russia
UUYW FIR Vorkuta ACC   Russia
UUYY FIR Syktyvkar ACC   Russia
UWOO FIR Orenburg/Tsentralny ACC   Russia
VABF FIR Mumbai ACC   India
VCCC FIR Colombo ACC   Sri Lanka
VDPF FIR Phnom Penh ACC   Cambodia
VECF FIR Kolkata ACC   India
VGFR FIR Dhaka ACC   Bangladesh
VHHK FIR Hong Kong ACC   Hong Kong
VIDF FIR Delhi ACC   India
VLIV FIR Vientiane ACC   Laos
VLVT FIR Vientiane ACC   Laos
VNSM FIR Kathmandu ACC     Nepal
VOMF FIR Chennai ACC   India
VRMF FIR Male ACC   Maldives
VTBB FIR Bangkok ACC   Thailand
VVHM FIR Ho Chi Minh ACC   Vietnam
VVHN FIR Hanoi ACC   Vietnam
VYMD FIR   Myanmar
VYYF FIR Yangon ACC   Myanmar
WAAF FIR Ujung Pandang   Indonesia
WAAZ FIR Ujung Pandang ACC   Indonesia
WABZ FIR Biak Sector Sector   Indonesia
WADZ FIR Bali Sector Sector   Indonesia
WAJZ FIR   Indonesia
WAKZ FIR Merauke Sector Sector   Indonesia
WALZ FIR Balikpapan Sector Sector   Indonesia
WAMZ FIR Manado Sector Sector   Indonesia
WAOZ FIR Banjarmasin Sector Sector   Indonesia
WAPZ FIR Ambon Sector Sector   Indonesia
WATZ FIR Kupang Sector Sector   Indonesia
WBFC FIR Kota Kinabalu ACC   Brunei/  Malaysia
WIIF FIR Jakarta   Indonesia
WIIZ FIR Jakarta ACC   Indonesia
WIMZ FIR Medan Sector Sector   Indonesia
WIOZ FIR Pontianak Sector Sector   Indonesia
WIPZ FIR Palembang Sector Sector   Indonesia
WMFC FIR Kuala Lumpur ACC   Malaysia
WSJC FIR Singapore ACC   Singapore
YBBB FIR Brisbane ACC   Australia
YMMM FIR Melbourne ACC   Australia
ZBPE FIR Beijing ACC   China
ZGJD FIR Zhuhai ACC   China
ZGZU FIR Guangzhou ACC   China
ZHWH FIR Wuhan ACC   China
ZJSA FIR Sanya ACC   China
ZKKP FIR Pyongyang ACC   North Korea
ZLHW FIR Lanzhou ACC   China
ZMUB FIR Ulan Bator ACC   Mongolia
ZPKM FIR Kunming ACC   China
ZSHA FIR Shanghai ACC   China
ZWUQ FIR Ürümqi ACC   China
ZYSH FIR Shenyang ACC   China

See also



  1. ^ "Glossary of Terms". US Federal Aviation Administration. Archived from the original on August 27, 2009. Retrieved August 6, 2009.
  2. ^ "Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ARTCC)". US Federal Aviation Administration. Retrieved July 17, 2021.
  3. ^ "Home | Raytheon Intelligence & Space".
  4. ^ List of current FIRs from the ICAO. Note that the map gives the shapefile coordinates for each FIR, and the page source gives a list of current ACCs in text form Archived March 6, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.