SWIM Program Overview
What is SWIM?
The System Wide Information Management (SWIM) Program is a National Airspace System (NAS)-wide information system that supports Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) goals.
SWIM facilitates the data sharing requirements for NextGen, providing the digital data-sharing backbone of NextGen. SWIM enables increased common situational awareness and improved NAS agility to deliver the right information to the right people at the right time. This information-sharing platform offers a single point of access for aviation data, with producers of data publishing it once and users accessing the information they need through a single connection.
In the past, the state of the art for connecting two systems required a fixed network connection and custom, point-to-point, application-level data interfaces. Current National Airspace System (NAS) operations depend upon these legacy information systems with some systems entirely unconnected. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) identified a need to reduce the high degree of interdependence among systems and move away from the proliferation of unique, point-to-point application interfaces.
In 2007, the FAA established the System Wide Information Management (SWIM) Program to implement a set of Information Technology principles in the NAS and provide users with relevant and commonly understandable information.
SWIM will support the future of aviation by revolutionizing information exchange to enable operational excellence and NAS innovations.
SWIM provides the infrastructure, standards, and services needed to optimize the secure exchange of relevant data for NAS systems and the aviation community.
The Benefits of SWIM
System Wide Information Management (SWIM) is part of the NextGen portfolio of programs and is critical to ensuring all stakeholders can communicate with each other. SWIM will allow airline operations, air traffic managers and controllers, Federal Air Marshals, military, and other stakeholders to share information in near real time.
The SWIM program focuses on improving National Airspace System (NAS) in the following ways:
- SWIM makes it possible to have access to real-time, relevant aeronautical, flight, and weather information so users (both within the NAS and outside of the NAS) can respond faster and more accurately.
- SWIM helps to reduce implementation and operating costs and increase agility for the air traffic community … to do more with less.
- SWIM creates collaboration opportunities across borders and with industry to address some of aviation's most complex problems.
Additional resources - SWIM: NextGen is working for American Airlines (video) and other success stories
SWIM Promotes Collaboration and Information Sharing
As the System Wide Information Management (SWIM) Program strategically progresses towards an end goal of promoting information-sharing in the National Airspace System (NAS), it is increasingly important that the aviation community join with the SWIM Program as partners in shaping future needs. Partnerships with industry and other government agencies will enable the SWIM Program to provide the IT infrastructure necessary for NAS systems to share information, increase interoperability, and encourage reusability of information and services.
Internally, the FAA's SWIM Program Office leads and manages the development and implementation of SWIM by working with key FAA collaborators to include the FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center (WJHTC) and FAA NAS Offices.
Key Industry Partners
Aviation Industry and Trade and Representation Groups represent the aviation community, including government organizations, airlines, airspace users, airport associations, labor unions, and aviation service and equipment suppliers. Through these associations, the SWIM Program is able to not only gain understanding of other aviation industry initiatives but also identify potential subscribers of SWIM-compliant data within industry.
Key Prototype and Development Partners
The John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center and Massachusetts Instituteof Technology's (MIT) Lincoln Laboratories provide aviation expertise and coordination with the SWIM Program. The Volpe team was tasked with developing a SWIM-compliant Integrated Terminal Weather Service (ITWS) Prototype, while MIT Lincoln Labs is developing the SWIM-compliant Corridor Integrated Weather Service (CIWS) Prototype. SWIM's Flight Data Publication Service (FDPS) is also being developed at Volpe.
Key International Partners
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations. ICAO codifies the principles and techniques of international air navigation and fosters the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safe and orderly growth. Implementation of the concepts behind SWIM have been a major topic of discussion at ICAO meetings and the SWIM Program has been providing information to the ICAO and its subgroups on the topic since early 2012.
Single European Sky Air Traffic Management (ATM) Research Joint Undertaking (SESAR JU) is a public-private partnership that includes European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL), the European Commission, other states, and European industry service providers and airport organizations. Information about the SESAR JU SWIM activities that align with the FAA SWIM Program can be found at the following website: https://www.sesarju.eu/projects/swim-ti.
The FAA and SESAR JU established a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) for civil aviation Research and Development (R&D). The primary purpose of the MOC was to create a legal mechanism for NextGen/SESAR collaboration. Included in the MOC is the Coordination Plan (CP) 2.1, which addresses SWIM interoperability and was approved in April 2012.
Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) is the Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) in Japan. The FAA and JCAB established the Future Air Transportation System Working Group (FATS WG) to harmonize future US and Japanese air traffic management systems. FATS WG meets twice a year to discuss SWIM and related topics, such as data exchange models. JCAB's Collaborative Actions for Renovation of Air Traffic Systems (CARATS) is analogous to the FAA's NextGen.
In addition, the SWIM Program has held several workshops and demonstrations with its colleagues from AirServices Australia (ASA), the Australian ANSP.
Airline partners are critical to the success of the SWIM Program. Our valued airline partners enable SWIM to gain an understanding of the needs of the aviation industry, enabling the Federal Aviation Administration to provided world-class capabilities to support needed information management requirements.
System Wide Information Management (SWIM) enables the sharing of information between diverse systems enabling the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) to deliver the right information to the right place at the right time. The program achieves this by providing the IT Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) enterprise infrastructure necessary for NAS systems to share and reuse information and increase interoperability. SOA is a way of organizing IT assets, policies, practices, and frameworks that enable application functionality to be provided and consumed as services that can be invoked, published and discovered. This infrastructure enables systems to publish information of interest to NAS users, request and receive information from other NAS services, and support NAS security requirements. Further, SWIM provides governance to NAS programs to ensure services are SWIM compliant and meet all FAA SOA standards.
SWIM's approach allows software applications in the NAS to interact with one another through information services that can be accessed without knowledge of an application's underlying platform implementation. This simplifies interface requirements to existing NAS systems and ensures new systems can be built with minimum technology (hardware, software, and data definition) constraints. SWIM also enables the transition to net-centric NAS operations, and from tactical conflict management to strategic, trajectory-based operations.
The System Wide Information Management (SWIM) Program is being implemented in segments. In each segment, a set of NAS services is being developed and integrated via SWIM. Enterprise infrastructure is added to support the implementation of capabilities associated with the segments. SWIM enterprise infrastructure will enable systems to request and receive information when they need it, subscribe for automatic receipt, and publish information as appropriate. This will provide for sharing of information among diverse systems.
One such system distributing information via SWIM is the SWIM Flight Data Publication Service (SFDPS). This service provides en route flight and related data to National Airspace System (NAS) consumers and external consumers. Learn more on the SFDPS page.