A new control measure called “intensity” is an air traffic management concept to aid air traffic controllers in managing the 2x-3x capacity demands of NextGen. Using intensity as a complexity metric potentially addresses several gaps left open by dynamic density including: (1) a direct mapping of various airspace and air traffic characteristics (complexity) to controller workload (however defined), (2) a real-time resolution to potential air traffic conflicts, and (3) a non-linear mapping of aircraft action to complexity. Accurately capturing complexity is one way to prevent air traffic system inefficiencies through workload overestimation or reduced system safety through workload underestimation. This paper utilizes air traffic data to compare intensity and dynamic density complexity metrics in increased traffic environments. It is first found that intensity is a viable alternative to dynamic density as a complexity metric. Additionally, intensity gives air traffic controllers real-time insight into aircraft pairs that are at highest risk of a short-notice safety violation whereas dynamic density does not.