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SWIM - Thirty Ninth ATC Day Issue, Oct 2013

System Wide Information Management!
System Wide Information Management (SWIM) is a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) advanced technology program designed to facilitate greater sharing of Air Traffic Management (ATM) system information, such as airport operational status, weather information, flight data, status of special use airspace, and National Airspace System (NAS) restrictions. SWIM will support current and future NAS programs by providing a flexible and secure information management architecture for sharing NAS information. SWIM will use commercial off-the-shelf hardware and software to support a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) that will facilitate the addition of new systems and data exchanges and increase common situational awareness.


Eurocontrol initially presented the SWIM System concept to the FAA in 1997, where it has been under development ever since. In 2005, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Global ATM Operational Concept adopted the SWIM concept to promote information-based ATM integration. SWIM is now part of development projects in both the United States (Next Generation Air Transportation System, or NextGen) and the European Union (Single European Sky ATM Research).

SWIM is part of FAA's NextGen, an umbrella term for the ongoing evolution of the United States' NAS from a ground-based system of air traffic control (ATC) to a satellite-based system of air traffic management. The transformation to NextGen requires programs and technologies that provide more efficient operations, including streamlined communications capabilities. The SWIM program is an integral part of that transformation that will connect FAA systems. The SWIM program will also enable interaction with other members of the decision-making community including other government agencies, air navigation service providers, and airspace users.


The SWIM program will lead to a variety of benefits. SWIM will help improve aviation safety through increased common situational awareness by allowing more decision makers to access the same information. This will provide consistent information to different users (pilots, controllers, dispatchers) that supports 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.
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