When a traveler plans a trip or when an airline operator plans air service, they look at the origin and destination of the flight. These are viewed in terms of pairs of cities. In measuring city-pair performance, the FAA looks at flights that either originate or conclude at a specific metroplex — metropolitan areas with multiple airports and complex air traffic flows.
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As described by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), efficiency addresses the operational and economic cost-effectiveness of gate-to-gate flight operations from a single-flight perspective. In all phases of flight, airspace users want to depart and arrive at the times they select and fly the trajectory they determine to be optimum.
As described by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO): Predictability refers to the ability of airspace users and Air Traffic Management (ATM) service providers to provide consistent and dependable levels of performance.
For each city pair, an origin airport — for example, Newark Liberty International (EWR) — and a destination airport — for example, Los Angeles International (LAX) — are listed. The city pairs are unidirectional, which means the trip is measured in one direction only from origin to destination. In the example above, EWR to LAX would be measured but not LAX to EWR.
The FAA reports city pairs recommended by the NextGen Advisory Committee (NAC), a federal advisory committee made up of aviation stakeholders. All results are reported by Fiscal Year (FY), October 1–September 30.
Flights can depart outside of the reportable hours, but must arrive during the reportable hours at the destination airport. For a list of the reportable hours for each airport, please see the Reference Guide.