Frequently asked questions

What is SWIM?

SWIM is an enabler in support of ATM modernisation and digitalisation, leading to a networked global air navigation system as described in the Global Air Navigation Plan (Doc 9750). Building on service orientation practice, using information services as a key concept, it introduces new collaborative means for the management and exchanging of information in support of future business processes. SWIM seeks to provide the right information, to the right people at the right time, in an interoperable manner on the basis of common standards.

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What is SWIM in Europe?

SWIM in Europe is the regional instantiation of the global ICAO SWIM concept. It is a key enabler for the realisation of the Digital European Sky vision. This vision projects an evolution of the European airspace architecture which leverages modern digital technologies to decouple service provision from local infrastructure. At the same time, it progressively increases the levels of collaboration and automation support through a data-rich and cyber-secure connected digital ecosystem. SWIM realises this ecosystem through service orientation, leveraging service oriented architecture practices into air traffic management.

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What are the benefits of SWIM?

SWIM is an enabler of future operations as envisioned by trajectory-based operations (TBO). The benefits of SWIM include improved safety, efficiency and collaborative decision-making, shared situational awareness, interoperability, increased performance and lower maintenance costs.

What does it mean to be SWIM conformant?

At the heart of SWIM are the common standards. These cover the SWIM concept components: information, information services and the technical infrastructure. Conforming to the agreed common standards is what SWIM conformance means. In practice, at organisational level, the standards actually applicable are based on global (i.e. ICAO provisions), regional and local requirements. Within the European SWIM ecosystem, SWIM-conformant information services are recognised via processes centred around the European SWIM Registry.

Is SWIM an ICAO initiative?

ICAO defines the SWIM concept and positions it as a key enabler of the ATM Global Air Traffic Management Operational Concept (GATMOC) and future trajectory-based operations (TBO). The modules of the Global Air Navigation Plan (GANP) and its ATM System Block Upgrades (ASBUs) references to SWIM. The ICAO Information Management Panel (IMP) is currently in the process of updating Doc 10039 Manual on SWIM and publishing SWIM provisions under the umbrella of the envisaged PANS – Information Management, Volume 1 on SWIM. 

Who is currently using SWIM?

Essentially service providers use SWIM standards to build information services which service consumers can discover via metadata about information services published in a SWIM Registry. Application and solution builders can integrate information services into SWIM-enabled applications used in operations. Operational experts thus interact indirectly with SWIM using SWIM-enabled applications. At present, the most commonly known European SWIM information services are the Network Manager NOP B2B services.

Who is behind the SWIM Reference (this website)?

The SWIM Reference website is a collaborative EUROCONTROL NM initiative to share as far as possible in a one-stop-shop the necessary information and knowledge on SWIM from a global point of view, also including European aspects. The SWIM Reference website supports the deployment of SWIM globally and in Europe.


How does SWIM affect me?

Essentially, it is important to consider SWIM when on a digital transformation pathway. Two ways to approach SWIM could be: (i) as a “to-do” job to make any applicable requirements compliant, or (ii) as an opportunity for modernisation. In both cases, the likelihood of revisited business process is probable since this is a key aspect of service orientation. If taken as an opportunity, it has the advantage that one could contribute to the definition of future collaborative processes.

Am I obliged to use SWIM?

This depends on each individual situation, migrations plans and any requirements imposed. For instance in Europe, the PCP IR currently determines obligations. Consequently, when any project is being implemented locally, a requirement analysis will be required in order to determine the actual answer to this question. As far as service consumers are concerned, if providers have migrated to SWIM, the consumers will clearly need to adapt to the newly available information service interfaces.

How can I contribute?

There are many opportunities to contribute to the evolution of SWIM. In Europe, communities of interest are accessible for contributions in the context of information services, information and the technical infrastructure. Please use the contact us form bellow.

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