Aviation Standards

In recent years, the aviation industry has been dealing with a period of unprecedented change. From rising fuel costs to the emergence of low cost airlines, many factors have had severe impacts on the bottom line, requiring restructuring and cost cutting in order to become more efficient.

System Wide Information Management (SWIM)

System Wide Information Management (SWIM) is an advanced technology program for air traffic management. It is designed to facilitate greater sharing of information such as airport operational status, weather information, flight data, and so on. SWIM is part of NextGen (the Next Generation Air Transportation System), which involves programs and technologies to provide more efficient operations and communications.

The SWIM Program was established by the FAA in 2007. At the time, operations of the National Airspace System (NAS) were dependent on legacy information systems, some of which were unconnected, and the FAA needed to reduce the level of interdependence and move away from the existing application interfaces which were largely point-to-point. SWIM uses open standards that are publicly available, as well as a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), to design of a suite of interoperable web-services.

SWIM implements a set of principles in the NAS that provide commonly understandable information that was relevant to users. SWIM enables diverse systems to share information so that the right information can be delivered to the right place at the right time by using an infrastructure that supports sharing and reuse of information and increasing interoperability. SWIM also provides governance to support compliance and meet all required standards.

Aeronautical Information Exchange Model (AIXM)

The increasing availability of digital information, and the use of standards such as the Aviation Information Exchange Model (AIXM) for structuring that information, is one way that is making improved efficiency possible. AIXM is used in Aeronautical Information Management (AIM), a technology program from that plays a vital role by ensuring the flow of information necessary for the safety, regularity, and efficiency of international air navigation.

The Aeronautical Information Exchange Model (AIXM) was developed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Eurocontrol (the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation) as a global standard for the representation and exchange of aeronautical information. AIXM was designed as a basis for digital aeronautical information exchange and for enabling the transition to a net-centric, global aeronautical management capability.

AIXM was developed using the ISO 19100 modeling framework and has two major components:

  • a conceptual model presented in the form of an UML class model, and
  • a data encoding specification which was developed using the OGC Geography Markup Language (GML).

Both components have been tailored to the specific requirements for the representation of aeronautical objects, especially the temporality feature that allows for time-dependent changes affecting AIXM features.

Galdos has conducted several projects for the FAA, related to schema audits and schema development, including the development of a GML profile and metadata profile for AIXM.

Galdos, through participation in Phases 6 and 7 of the OGC’s Web Services (OWS) testbed, has also been involved in the mapping of AIXM 4.5 to AIXM 5.1, a process necessary to allow systems using different versions of the standard to exchange information.

Aeronautical Information Management (AIM)

AIM arose from the need to satisfy new requirements from the Global ATM Operational Concept. AIM presents a broader concept than the existing aeronautical information services (AIS), presenting a wider scope for supporting the new requirements.

Aeronautical Information Management is the successor to AIS (Aeronautical Information Services) and covers a broader concept. The motto of AIM is “the right digital Aeronautical Information, at the right place, at the right time.” The role of AIM is to meet the demand for increased support for real-time aviation activities while ensuring that safety factors and relevant regulations are satisfied.

One practical implementation of AIM is in providing real-time digital updates to flight crews through the NOTAM Distribution Program. Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs) are the way that messages are distributed to air crews. Digital NOTAMs use an electronic flight bags instead of a physical briefcase full of printed material. This means that cockpit crew no longer have to carry 80 kilogram bags of essential information to and from the aircraft. Having this information updated in real-time means that the crew can take off knowing that they have the latest information on hand, instead of wondering if they have the latest updates from the printer.

In OWS-6, Galdos wrote the engineering report (OGC OWS-6-AIM Engineering Report 0.3.0 09-050r1) that summarized the results of the project. The project established a baseline for implementation of an Event Service Notification architecture. Galdos contributed to the engineering report for the OWS-7 aviation thread, which focused on the development of an event notification architecture.

Galdos INtune™ SDI Framework facilitates the sharing of data between applications, and the propagation of real-time updates such xNOTAMs, all of which are necessary for the success of AIM and SWIM.