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Throughput Analysis

The United States National Airspace System (NAS) network performance is currently measured using a variety of metrics based on delay. Developments in network theory in the fields of wireless communication, manufacturing and other modes of transportation like road, freight, etc. have explored various metrics that complement the delay metric. In this work, we divide the NAS by the two phases of flight - terminal and en route, and develop a set of throughput metrics for each phase inspired by studies in the above areas. In addition, some of these metrics represent the NAS performance at each hierarchical level - the sector, center, regional and national. This hierarchical structure will consist of multiple layers of networks with the bottom level comprising the traffic pattern modeled as a network of individual sectors acting as nodes. The abstraction at each higher level is an aggregation of the entities of the next lower level. This hierarchical approach is especially suited for executive level decision making as it gives an overall picture of not just the inefficiencies but also the aspects where the NAS has performed well in a given situation from which specific information about the effects of a policy change on the NAS performance at each level can be determined.