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The Flight Information Exchange Model (FIXM) is a data interchange format for sharing information about individual aircraft flights throughout their lifecycle (i.e., planned, filed, active, flown).
FIXM is developed by the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL), in collaboration with other Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSP) and aviation industry representatives. FIXM is the recommended data format designed to support and improve interoperability across national boundaries.
FIXM version 1.0 was announced at the FAA's 2011 Air Transportation Information Exchange Conference in Silver Spring, Maryland, and will be available to all interested stakeholders in August 2012. FIXM is evolving; it will grow incrementally over the next several years. FIXM is already being used in demonstrations involving multiple international stakeholders, building consensus on the definitions and use patterns.
Create a common vocabulary across all aviation domains
FIXM provides definitions for the data elements common to most aviation operational domains (e.g., surface, departure and arrival, en route and oceanic, flight service, traffic management). These data elements resolve inconsistencies in terminology across domains by clearly defining the meaning of each element, including examples in context, and ensuring semantic, syntactic consistency.
Support all stakeholders’ information needs
FIXM is developed by a large and diverse group of stakeholders, each of which contribute their specific operational perspective in order to make FIXM more complete.
Support modularity, flexibility, and extensibility
FIXM is designed to resist obsolescence by allowing stakeholders to use it in a modular fashion (e.g., creating their own domain or application-specific messages), or to create extensions to the standards to accommodate specific domain requirements.
Support data reuse
FIXM thoroughly documents the meaning of its data elements, and provides business rules that describe how the data elements are used within each domain. This information allows data elements to be reused by stakeholders across multiple domains.
Today, flight-related information exchanged within Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems or between ATM systems and external stakeholders (e.g., Air Navigation Service Providers, flight operators, transit authorities, the flying public) is not consistent in terminology, format or content. ATM systems operate as distinct entities in different flight domains, with each domain sharing operational data with its own rules, definitions and formats. Communication between systems is mostly point-to-point, and developing new interfaces or modifying existing ones is complex and costly. In many cases, information is segmented due to systems maintaining different data about the same flight. Additionally, information common to these systems is often named or represented differently, requiring translation when moving between systems.
FIXM alleviates these issues by establishing a standardized set of flight data elements that are unambiguously defined, uniformly represented, and packaged for modularity, flexibility and extensibility. FIXM facilitates sharing common flight information between systems and enables collaboration using a common reference framework. Through standardization, FIXM is also a main enabler for simplifying data management across aviation domains.
FIXM provides the following stakeholder benefits:
- Ability for any authorized stakeholder to publish or subscribe to a wide range of flight data supported by the XML-based standard
- Ability for aviation and non-aviation (e.g., security, logistics) stakeholders to extend the FIXM standard in order to support their individual operational needs
- Common understanding of flight information derived from using a common vocabulary (naming), a common semantic dimension (meaning), and a common syntax (data representation)
- Flexibility and adaptability to combine common flight date elements into “packages” that meet stakeholder operational needs
- Reduced cost for maintaining or establishing new system interfaces through decreased interoperability risks and reduced implementation times
- Increased flight information accuracy and reliability through semantic and syntactic clarity of exchanged data
- Faster distribution of data across flight domain boundaries by eliminating need for translation and / or interpretation