SWIM - The ATM Intranet

Early information sharing and coordination is one of the most important parameters for a safe flight. Air traffic information has to be available to aircraft, airports, air traffic controllers and air navigation service providers, airline operation centres, military operation centres, ground vehicles, flow management centres and weather service providers.

To date, the management of different types of air traffic information has evolved independently, based on sub-system and service specific requirements. As a result of this bottom-up approach, today's ATM (Air Traffic Management) information systems are insufficiently integrated, resulting in organisational and institutional barriers which prevent timely use of relevant information.

SESAR will dramatically improve this situation by introducing SWIM – System Wide Information Management – in Europe. SWIM is a new information infrastructure which will connect all ATM stakeholders, aircraft as well as all ground facilities. The aim of this new ATM Intranet is to allow seamless information interchange for improved decision-making and the capability of finding the most appropriate source of information while catering for the information security requirements. Through SWIM, all air traffic partners will contemporaneously have the same and for their own business needs the appropriate and relevant operational picture.  It will streamline information sharing for improved planning and execution. This will lead to more efficient operations with benefits for:

•    Safety
SWIM will help to improve aviation safety through better and more efficient decision making. Pilots, controllers and dispatchers will have the same information in near real time and will be able to react a lot earlier and in a more efficient manner.

•    Passengers
SWIM will – through the early availability of information – help to reduce passenger delays and flight congestion by allowing the most efficient use of airspace, managing air traffic around weather, and increasing common situational awareness on the ground which will lead to fewer delays.

•    Environment
SWIM will provide end-users with early availability of the most accurate information on weather situation, air congestion, situation on the ground, etc. This will help air traffic controllers and pilots to avoid for example unnecessary reroutes, or taxiing on the ground. As a result, less fuel is burnt and resources used more efficiently with positive effects on the environment. It is estimated that by reducing taxi time by 10%, the total of European annual savings to airlines is at 145.000 tons fuel with translates to €120 million or 475.000 tons Co2.