Today's air traffic management (ATM) system comprises various applications developed over time for specific purposes. It is characterized by many custom communication protocols, each with self-contained information systems: on board the aircraft, in the air traffic service unit, etc. Each interface is custom designed, developed, managed, and maintained individually and locally at a significant cost. Moreover, the way ATM information is defined/structured and the way it is provided and used are specific to most ATM systems.
The expected increase in aviation demands, economic pressure and attention to the environmental impact are relying ever more on accurate and timely information. Such information must be organized and provided by solutions supporting system-wide interoperability and secure seamless information access and exchange. The development of SWIM infrastructure and services should align with a globally accepted operational concept that articulates the expected SWIM implementation in terms of the benefits, enablers, features, and principles for development and transition. This global SWIM concept contained herein describes how stakeholders will participate in SWIM, how it will be managed based on the agreed SWIM governance, and how it will be operated at the various levels. As such, it provides the foundation for further developments.
System Wide Information Management (SWIM) will complement human-to-human with machine-to-machine communication and improve data distribution and accessibility regarding the quality of the data exchanged. The Global Air Traffic Management (ATM) Operational Concept (Doc 9854) envisages the application of SWIM to promote information-based ATM integration.
SWIM consists of Standards, Infrastructure and Governance, enabling the management of Air Navigation Services (ANS) related information and its exchange between qualified parties via interoperable services. SWIM is an integral part of the Global Air Navigation Plan (GANP) (Doc 9750) and is covered in several aviation system block upgrades (ASBU) modules. GANP ASBU B2-SWIM (2025-2030) defines SWIM services (applications and infrastructure) and its implementation framework, building an aviation intranet based standard data models and internet-based protocols to achieve interoperability.
The ICAO Information Management Panel (IMP), established in 2015, takes a global and harmonized interoperable approach and develops concepts for effectively implementing SWIM for information management, including information exchange formats for use within the Air Navigation System. The Information Management Panel (IMP) updated the agreed definition of SWIM Region to:
"A geographical area in which a group of States and/or ATM stakeholders has agreed upon common regional governance in support of system wide information management implementation".
Note: A SWIM region can be an ICAO region or any other community of interest agreeing on common governance.
The APAC SWIM Task Force, established in 2016, is developing regional guidance on SWIM implementation in the APAC Region in alignment with ICAO global strategy. To assist member States and other stakeholders in further understanding SWIM and its implementation requirements, ICAO APAC is progressively loading SWIM reference and education material to the APAC-SWIM site of the ICAO Secure Portal. Member States and other stakeholders are encouraged to provide well developed education materials.
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