SWIMming faster and strengthening transatlantic cooperation

23 October 2017

The first of these meetings was the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Interregional APAC/EUR/MID Workshop on “Service improvement through integration of AIM, MET and ATM Information Services”, which was organised at EUROCONTROL from 2 to 4 October 2017, and saw more than 220 participants from 54 States arrive in Brussels, drawn from across the ATM world (State representatives, service providers, industry, and key international organisations).

Information-sharing has become a steadily more important component of today’s ATM systems, and SWIM (System Wide Information Management) architecture, which removes barriers between information providers and information consumers, is playing a key role in revolutionising the field of Information Exchange.

Philippe Merlo, EUROCONTROL Director ATM, emphasised in his address how all ATM stakeholders can be enabled to develop fast and low-cost information services, interoperable from the beginning, simply by following SWIM guidance and standards and using mainstream computers, standard internet connections and employing basic software development skills. 

The Interregional Workshop demonstrated how SWIM is a key enabler for Europe and for the global aviation community, with participants benefiting from an open exchange of views in SWIM implementation. Participants also took note that the architecture to steer the needed developments is taking shape at the level of ICAO. The GANP 2019 approach will provide the essential top layer to understand better what is needed to deploy in the regions. Debates showed that participants believed taking a more architectural approach to the actual implementation would represent a step forward.

The second and related transatlantic coordination event was the 2017 Air Transportation Information Exchange Conference (ATIEC), a major two-day event taking place 5-6 October 2017 organised together with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Usually hosted by the FAA in the US, ATIEC is the platform for technical experts in the area of SWIM and exchange models such as AIXM (the Aeronautical Information Exchange Model), (I)WXXM (the Meteorological Information Exchange Models) and FIXM (the Flight Information Exchange Model) to exchange views and discuss the evolution of technical aspects of SWIM. ATIEC 2017 workshops between information providers, information consumers and industry confirmed that SWIM and digitisation at large are swiftly becoming a reality as the ATM industry moves towards more virtual services, rather than physical system implementations each time an exchange of information is required.

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