Frequently Asked Questions
What is FIXM?
The Flight Information Exchange Model (FIXM) is an exchange model capturing Flight and Flow information that is globally standardised. The requirement for FIXM was identified by the ICAO Air Traffic Management Requirements and Performance Panel (ATMRPP) and endorsed at the 12th Air Navigation Conference as part of the Aviation System Block Upgrades (ASBU) and as described in Flight and Flow Information for a Collaborative Environment (FF-ICE). FIXM is the equivalent, for the Flight domain, of AIXM (Aeronautical Information Exchange Model) and WXXM (Weather Information Exchange Model) both of which were developed in order to achieve global interoperability for, respectively, AIS and MET information exchange. According to the ICAO SWIM concept, FIXM is one of the models that belong to the 'Information Exchange Models' layer of the ICAO SWIM Global Interoperability framework. The FIXM Strategy document details the strategic objectives for FIXM.
What is the FIXM scope?
FIXM supports the content of the individual ATS message fields described in ICAO Doc 4444 and the new flight data items identified by ICAO ATMRPP as part of the requirements for FF-ICE.
What are the main FIXM components?
The main FIXM components are the FIXM Logical Model, which captures in UML all the constructs that are required for system-to-system exchange of flight information at a global level as prescribed by FF-ICE, and the FIXM XML schemas, which are derived programmatically from the FIXM Logical Model. The term FIXM refers collectively to the FIXM Logical Model and the FIXM XML schemas. FIXM is also supported by the FIXM Primer, the FIXM Requirements Traceability Report, the FIXM Implementation Guidance and the FIXM Development Guidelines.
Who builds FIXM?
FIXM is a project involving important actors in the field of ATM. Its development has been so far primarily sponsored by the US FAA, with the support of organisations that now constitute the FIXM Change Control Board (CCB). As of November 2016, the FIXM CCB is comprised by the following organisations: Airservices Australia, DSNA, EUROCONTROL, GCAA, IATA, JCAB, NATS, NAV CANADA, the SESAR Joint Undertaking, and the US FAA. The FIXM CCB Secretariat activities are being performed by the FAA and EUROCONTROL. The development of FIXM is inclusive: all interested FIXM stakeholders can join the FIXM community, contribute to the evolution the standard and submit change requests. The FIXM Change Management Charter formalizes the operating procedures of the FIXM community. Because FIXM is an enabler for the ICAO FF-ICE concept, the FIXM development is eventually supervised by the ICAO ATMRPP, to which the FIXM CCB reports.
What will be included in upcoming FIXM versions?
The FIXM Release Plan, developed and managed by the FIXM CCB under ICAO ATMRPP supervision, provides the schedule for the next FIXM release. For the period 2017-2020, FIXM will keep focusing on FF-ICE Step 1, and should not seek any further expansion beyond this scope.
How can I retrieve the FF-ICE specification?
The FF-ICE Concept and the FF-ICE Step 1 implementation guidance manual are being refined by the ICAO ATMRPP. FIXM implementers willing to get access to these materials are invited to contact directly their respective ICAO ATMRPP representatives.
How can I become a FIXM CCB member?
Design and Content
Does FIXM reuse AIXM?
FIXM does not import as such any AIXM structures but is semantically consistent with AIXM for the areas of the model that overlap. This is intentional: the technical design of AIXM, which is optimised for the exchange of digital Notam information, is not always fit-for-purpose for reuse in a FF-ICE/FIXM context. In other terms, AIXM and FIXM have different designs optimised for their respective use cases, but the two information exchange models remain semantically interoperable.
Is FIXM based on GML?
Potential integration of GML has been discussed in the past but, to date, FIXM has not been based on GML and there are currently no plans to change that.
Why does FIXM v4.0.0 have fewer capabilities than FIXM v3.0.0?
FIXM is an enabler for the ICAO FF-ICE concept, as identified in the ICAO Global Air Navigation Plan. The FF-ICE concept and related ICAO requirements are being further refined by the ICAO ATMRPP, with a delivery of the final FF-ICE step 1 package expected for Oct/Nov 2018. FIXM has been developed since the beginning based on evolving information exchange requirements. The scope reduction implemented in FIXM v4.0.0 was achieved as part of the alignment of the FIXM content with ICAO ATMRPP's most recent understanding of the FF-ICE information exchange requirements.
Is FIXM delivered in formats other than XML?
The FIXM XML schemas are the only physical realisation of the FIXM Logical Model that is currently available. FIXM may however be expanded over time by including additional physical representations of the FIXM Logical Model, if the need arises, and upon FIXM CCB decision.
Is guidance available for FIXM implementers?
FIXM Core v4.2.0 has a dedicated FIXM User Manual that provides guidance for FIXM implementers. The guidance includes a mapping between FIXM and ATS message content as defined in ICAO Doc 4444, and recommendations on how to use FIXM Core and the FIXM FF-ICE Message Application in support of the flight information exchanges described in the ATMRPP’s draft Manual on FF-ICE Implementation Guidance. The previous release of FIXM Core, v4.1.0, had similar content within the FIXM Implementation Guidance package.
Can I get examples of FIXM sample messages?
XML samples for FIXM Core v4.2.0 are not yet available, although details on how to construct FIXM XML messages are included in the FIXM User Manual. XML examples for the previous release of FIXM Core, v4.1.0, can be found in that release’s FIXM Implementation Guidance package.
I would like to exchange additional flight information not captured in FIXM. What can I do?
FIXM Core contains flight information that is globally standardised in support of the ICAO FF-ICE concept. FIXM is also extendable, meaning that implementers can develop extensions to FIXM core in order to satisfy specific business requirements. Proliferations of FIXM extensions will undermine interoperability within the global flight community. Therefore, implementers are encouraged to inform the FIXM CCB about their plans to develop extensions, and to describe, at least at high-level, the intended scope of these extensions. Elements captured in extensions may be promoted to core FIXM over time, if approved by the FIXM CCB. Implementers willing to release publicly their extensions to FIXM can be granted a space on the FIXM website, upon request.
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