Joint Rescue Coordination Center

Γραφείο Επιτρόπου Προστασίας Δεδομένων Προσωπικού Χαρακτήρα


    The Centre is divided into 5 sections:
a. The High Level Conference Room
b. Working Cells for 120 persons
c. General Briefings and Media Handling section
d. Logistics and temporary Operating section
e. And the Short Term Accommodation Area

    Following a decision by the Counsil and in order to achieve coordination during construction, the project was assigned to the Cyprus Telecommunication Authority, under the supervision of the JRCC, funded by the European migration flow control funds managed by the Ministry of Interior, as well as funds of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works. The main phases of the Center’s construction were completed within the extremely short period of two months. Specifically, the renovation of the facilities began on April 21st , 2016 and was concluded on June 23rd, 2016.
    The design of the Centre facilitates, the timely update of the political leadership, the monitoring of the situation in real time, the efficient decision-making, and the management of the crisis are tasks that have to be executed by the representatives of the involved agencies, in order to fullfilt the needs of coordination and management of mass rescue incidents in accordance with the National Plan "TEFKROS" within the Search and Rescue area of responsibility of the Republic, which coincides with the Nicosia FIR.
    More specifically, the Coordinating Center has a specially designed section equipped to accommodate the operations of the Ministerial Crisis Management Team, acting at the strategic level of the crisis management and decision-making. For example, in the case of JRCC implementing the National Plan “TEFKROS”, the team will convene in this section, with the Minister of Defence being the carer.

During the implementation of the Special National Plan “TEFKROS”, for the rescue of a large number of persons such as illegal immigrants and/or refugees who are in distress at sea onboard small vessels, the Ministrerial Crisis Management Team, will be comprised of the Ministers of Defence, Interiors, Foreign Affairs, Transport and Justice, as well as any other entity, deemed as necessary.

For this purpose, the room is equipped with a teleconference system for communication with other operation centers both nationally and/or abroad, a projector where the overall progress of the operations is presented, 2 Flat Screens where real time data from the aeronautical and maritime radars and media broadcasts are projected and monitored.

It is also worth to be mentioned that in case of an incident within 20 kilometers from the shore, the Centre is able to receive real time image from the position of the incident by using the capabilities of the Coastal Monitoring System. It is important that all information provided to the Ministerial Crisis Management Team is in real time, so that decisions are taken in a timely manner, during rescue operations.

The room has 20 workstations, equipped with radio and cable capabilities, to cover the needs of the Ministerial Crisis Management Team and additional 30 work stations for the liaisons of the involved agencies.


Moving on, we find the workstations for the officials of the involved agencies. This room, if necessary, will operate 24/7 during operations, staffed by liaisons from all the involved state institutions.

In addition, embassies’ representatives or delegations of other bodies such as the United Nations’ International Amnesty for Refugees will be able to join in for information exchange and effective coordination, in accordance with the provisions of the SAR National Plan, and under the discretion of the Ministerial Crisis Management Team.
      The room is directly connected with all the systems of JRCC Operations Centre, which, in case of a mass rescue operation, will act as Coordinating subcenter supporting "ZENON" Center.

    After receiving information by JRCC Larnaca regarding the progress of the ongoing operation and the impending reception of large number of survivors, the appointed agency representatives will undertake the responsibility for the planning, coordination and timely action by all involved services, in order to receive the survivors at the points selected by JRCC, and transport them to the screening and management points. Such point is the specially configured area next to ZENON Center.

    Due to the multiple capabilities of the "ZENON" Coordinating Centre, a part of the facility may become available on request, for European and/or other organizations who are operating in the region or following decision by the EU and/or the UN/Security Council for assisting civilian evacuation from crisis areas.

      More specifically, the coordinators’ area consists of 5 sections and a total of 120 workstations with wired and wireless capabilities, plotting tools, as well as PCs on which each operator will be able to monitor real-time air and naval radar images, as well as other information regarding the current operations.

      The basic structure of the Coordinating Centre "ZENON" is completed with the Information and Media Management Hall.

      The hall can accommodate 120 persons, achieving direct interaction between strategic and operational levels, since here is where all the briefings and updates between the political leadership and the representatives of various services will take place.

      The hall is equipped with the necessary equipment to provide real time situation awareness using terminals linked to the maritime and aviation radars of the Republic of Cyprus, marine and air radio stations, as well as radiocommunications with all government services for direct reception and / or relay of instructions and information.

      All received information and images are transmitted to all sections of the Centre, through the specialized projection system.

        Image availability during planning and coordination of a massive rescue operation or crisis in general, is a great advantage. For this purpose, the JRCC, through the respective European funding program, has created the Visual Coastal Observation System which gives us the capability of real time imaging, from the field of operations, with simultaneous viewing in all rooms and sections.
        The room will also be used to update the media representatives on operation developments and due to the translation system available, it can be used for conducting international seminars and trainings.


        The numerous advantages of the concept of design, development and operation of the "ZENON" Coordination Centre at the specific location, may be descried with a tour to the external facilities of the Centre. The Centre has a specially configured area, which will be used for the initial management and short term accommodation of rescued persons until their repatriation or until they are forwarded to specially designated accommodation areas available by the Republic of Cyprus as described in the Special National Plan "NAFKRATIS".

      Prefabricated installations will provide all necessary facilities to both survivors and involved agencies, for their reception and management, such as Police, Asylum Service, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Civil Defense, Aliens and Immigration Service and others.

      In collaboration with the Operator and the Security Authorities of Larnaca Airport an input / output gate was created specifically for the purposes of the Centre. Through this portal, both the reception of mass civilian flow and their repatriation (if it is directly possible) can be achieved, making use of the old Larnaca airport. The above process will not affect the normal operation of “Glafkos Klerides” International Airport. This specific feature of the Centre, will also be available during the reception or departure of foreign nationals, during mass non-combatant evacuation operations from neighboring crisis regions, with the parallel activation of the Special National Plan "Estia", which describes all procedures of State bodies in case of "Evacuation of citizens from neighboring countries", towards Cyprus.


      "ZENON" Coordination Center was designed and built in order to be able to support prolonged operations. For this reason, fully equipped dining room, kitchen, rest rooms, toilets, as well as offices are available to the daily support team.


        The Centre’s high level of security should also be noted, featuring the alarm system enhanced by the closed-circuit surveillance cameras, both inside and outside of the building, as well as the NATO Standards fenced perimeter, patrolled by the mobilized team of the airport security.
        All installations are covered by uninterruptible power supply systems using special electrical generators, since
        the Centre should be able to function in times of crisis and under any circumstances.
        All coordination rooms, help-desks and control systems, are connected through a central data server, in order to achieve immediate, secure and effective communication and information management and flow.
        Finally, the dedicated Technical Team provides 24-hour support for immediate damage and/or malfunction restoration.
        The development and operation of the “ZENON” coordination centre is innovative and will significantly enhance the effort made by the Republic of Cyprus, not only to control migration flows in the region between Cyprus and Middle, East but also the actual and effective contribution of Cyprus to the EU Common Security and Defence Policy, making the Republic of Cyprus the main provider of security and support of humanitarian operations in the Eastern Mediterranean.