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System Wide Information Management (SWIM)

System Wide Information Management (SWIM) is an international concept which aims to facilitate greater sharing of Air Traffic Management (ATM) system information, such as airport operational status, weather information and flight data in real time. SWIM is essentially the migration from legacy one-to-one information exchange to many-to-many information distribution.




System Wide Information Management (SWIM) is an international concept which aims to facilitate greater sharing of Air Traffic Management (ATM) system information, such as airport operational status, weather information, flight data, airspace restrictions, etc. SWIM is essentially the migration from legacy one-to-one information exchange to many-to-many information distribution. It will provide a flexible and secure information management architecture for sharing information utilizing commercial off-the-shelf hardware and software to support the system.

The SWIM concept was initially presented by Eurocontrol to the FAA in 1997, where it has been under development ever since. It is an important element in both the FAA’s NEXTGEN and the European Union’s Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) toolboxes.

swim-concept

In 2005, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Global ATM Operational Concept adopted the SWIM concept to promote information-based ATM integration.

The SWIM program will not only increase common situational awareness, but also enable interaction with other members of the decision-making community including other government agencies, air navigation service providers, and airspace users. It will provide consistent information to different users (pilots, controllers, dispatchers) for proactive decision-making.

SWIM is essential to providing the most efficient use of airspace, managing air traffic around weather, and increasing common situational awareness on the ground. SWIM core services will enable systems to request and receive information when they need it, subscribe for automatic receipt, and publish information and services as appropriate. This will provide for sharing of information across different systems. This will allow airspace users and controllers to access the most current information that may be affecting their area of responsibility in a more efficient manner. SWIM will improve decision-making and streamline information sharing for improved planning and execution.

SWIM will also help reduce infrastructure costs by decreasing the number of unique interfaces between systems. Initially, SWIM will provide a common interface framework, reducing the operation and maintenance costs of current interfaces. New systems will interface with each other via SWIM-compliant interfaces, thereby reducing future data interface development costs. Ultimately, redundant data sources will no longer be needed, and associated systems will be decommissioned.

Full implementation of SWIM is expected in 10-15 years.


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About Wayne Farley

Wayne Farley

I am Wayne, an aviation safety evangelist who once made my living working in the control tower. Engage me while I share my thoughts, experience, and news from the aviation world. After writing "13 Characteristics of an air traffic controller" in 2010, it went viral and established me as an unofficial ambassador for ATC.

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