London Area Control Centre

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NATS London Area Control Centre, Swanwick

The London Area Control Centre (LACC) is an air traffic control centre based at Swanwick near Fareham in Hampshire, southern England. It is operated by National Air Traffic Services (NATS), starting operations on 27 January 2002, and handles aircraft over much of England and Wales and southwestern Scotland. Internally within NATS it is usually known by the initials AC. The Swanwick facility replaces that of the former site at West Drayton.

LACC shares the Swanwick site with the London Terminal Control Centre (LTCC), which moved there in 2007.[1]

AC-based controllers provide air traffic services mainly within the London Flight Information Region (FIR). This airspace is split into five Local Area Groups (LAGs) which relate to the position of the airspace sector groups within the FIR. All sectors have the R/T callsign "London Control".

Also within the AC Operations room sit the FIR Flight Information Service Officers (FISOs) who provide an information service to aircraft operating within the London FIR as a whole using the callsign "London Information". 'Swanwick Military' controllers are also based in the AC Operations room.

AC Local Area Groups and Sectors[edit]

Each sector is assigned a sector number which is used when co-ordinating the passage of aircraft between each other. Colloquial names are also in use for each group of sectors and are sometimes used within the co-ordination process when sectors are bandboxed together to indicate that one sector team is operating a whole group of sectors.

LACC is unusual in that it uses Class A airspace at lower levels. Therefore, VFR operation is prohibited.

Central LAG[edit]

These sectors comprise the airspace above the London TMA airspace controlled from the TC operations room.

  • London Upper (LUS) - Sectors 1, 2 & 24
  • London Middle (LMS) - Sectors 25 & 26

East LAG[edit]

These sectors comprise the airspace above TC East sectors to the East and North East of London.

  • North Sea - Sectors 10 & 11
  • Clacton - Sectors 12, 13 & 14

West LAG[edit]

This LAG is responsible for the largest amount of airspace within AC, extending from the West of Bournemouth down across the Western approaches and up into the south of Wales.

  • Berry Head - Sectors 6, 9 & 36
  • Brecon - Sectors 5, 8, 23 & 35

North LAG[edit]

These sectors adjoin the airspace controlled by the Prestwick Centre to the North, airspace overlying some of the airspace around Manchester formerly controlled by the Manchester Centre (now also at Prestwick) and airspace over the North of Wales across to Ireland.

  • Lakes - Sectors 3, 4 & 7
  • Daventry - Sectors 27, 28, 32 & 34

Channel LAG[edit]

This LAG comprises the sectors along the South Coast of England, bordering France and Maastricht airspace.

  • Dover - Sectors 15, 16 & 17
  • Worthing - Sectors 18, 19, 20, 21 & 22


  1. ^ Corp, Rob (26 September 2008). "Why Swanwick hit the headlines". BBC News. Retrieved 4 May 2014.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°53′12″N 1°17′10″W / 50.8868°N 1.2861°W / 50.8868; -1.2861