Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Centre
|Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Centre|
|Active||1997 – 2016 (Royal Air Force)|
2016 – present (HM Coastguard)
|Branch||Maritime and Coastguard Agency|
|Role||Civil maritime and aeronautical search and rescue coordination|
|Part of||Her Majesty's Coastguard|
|Location||National Maritime Operations Centre, Fareham, Hampshire, England|
The United Kingdom's Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Centre (ARCC) is based at the National Maritime Operations Centre (NMOC), Fareham, Hampshire.
The centre is responsible for coordinating all Maritime & Coastguard Agency Search and Rescue (SAR) helicopters The civil ARCC has no authority to task RAF mountain rescue teams. It monitors rescues in the United Kingdom Search and Rescue Region (UK SRR), which extends to 30 degrees west in longitude, and from 45 to 61 degrees north latitude (as far north as just south of the Danish Faroe Islands), excluding the Republic of Ireland (Ireland SRR).
Sikorsky S-92 helicopters can operate in excess of 250 miles from their base, with an endurance of over four hours.
AgustaWestland AW189 helicopters can operate in excess of 200 miles from their base, with an endurance of over four hours.
Fareham has no helicopter squadrons, however it controls rescue helicopters at:
- Stornoway Airport on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides
- Sumburgh Airport, south of Lerwick in the Shetland Islands
- Lee-on-Solent, four miles west of Portsmouth in Hampshire
- Portland, within Portland Harbour
- Humberside Airport
- Inverness Airport
- Caernarfon Airport
- Lydd Airport
- St Athan
- Prestwick Airport
- Newquay Airport
The RAF Search and Rescue Force began in 1941, mainly rescuing aircrew from ditched aircraft. In 1997, the two control centres in Plymouth and Edinburgh were combined into one site at RAF Kinloss. During its time as part of the RAF its motto was Constant Endeavour.
In March 2016 ownership of tasking search and rescue aircraft transferred from the RAF to HM Coastguard based at the National Maritime Operations Centre (NMOC) in Fareham, Hampshire.
Coastguard helicopters are on standby 24 hours a day to assist those in difficulty, both at sea and over land. Helicopter crews are at 15 minutes notice from 8am until 10pm, extending to 45 minutes notice from 10pm until 8am overnight.
The control centre is manned by HM Coastguard, who operate long-range HF communication equipment. And coordinating the tasking of helicopters following requests from the emergency services. With an area of responsibility spanning almost 1 million square miles, the ARCC deals with incidents across the whole of the UK out to halfway across the North Atlantic.
ARCC coordinating staff come from a variety of backgrounds within the aviation and military community and work very closely with the Coastguard, Police, Ambulance Authorities and Fire & Rescue Services.
UK Mission Control Centre
The NMOC is also home to the UK Cospas-Sarsat Mission Control Centre (UKMCC). This is the centre that detects emergency beacons within the UK Search and Rescue Region (SRR) using an advanced computer system. Maritime distress beacon information is passed to the Coastguard authorities but terrestrial alerts are investigated by the UKMCC, often requiring the use of SAR helicopters to pinpoint the beacon's position.