In order to ensure efficient and equitable use of the National Airspace, the problem of air traffic flow control is posed as a PDE constrained optimization program which explicitly incorporates distinct preferences for independent airlines. Novel cost metrics are introduced to capture the real-world cost of delays to the airlines, and control parameters are aligned with the actual inputs the FAA can manipulate in dealing with adverse weather conditions, which include ground-delay programs, miles-in-trail restrictions and flight reroutes. A market mechanism is proposed that allows for distributed computation of efficient and equitable solutions. The resulting solution preferentially reduces delays for expensive flights, but compensates less expensive flights via transfer payments.
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