O’Hare Airport Noise causing problems for Chicago


Image from en.wikipedia.org

Image from en.wikipedia.org

Aldermen Mary O’Connor and Margaret Laurino, two members of the Chicago City Council have before demanded for the Council to do something about the noise generated from O’Hare airport.  However, since January until recently, their efforts have largely been ignored.  Last week the two finally received council approval to place an advisory referendum proposal on the upcoming November ballot.   The proposal is on whether or not the government should increase the number of home eligible for sound proofing funded by taxes.

Last Fall, yet another airstrip had opened at the airport, and in response, the number of calls of complaint made about the O’Hare airport to the city skyrocketed.

Yet in the face of these complaints, Mayor Emmanuel’s administration has done little to address improving the quality of the life of the residents nearby the busy airport, Chicago being a largely important city for business and tourism.

Fair Allocation in Runways Coalition (FAiR) has made seven separate requests to Mayor Rahm Emmanuel to discuss the noise and environmental pollution from the increased jet traffic, but have received no response.  The Federal Aviation Administration is being pushed by FAiR to spread flights out more evenly on the available O’Hare runways to reduce the noise the outlying neighborhoods surrounding the airport are experiencing.

The Fly Quiet Program of O’Hare’s, as described from their website, “The Fly Quiet Program is a voluntary program that encourages pilots and air traffic controllers to use designated nighttime preferential runways and flight tracks developed by the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) in cooperation with the O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission, the airlines, and the air traffic controllers. These preferred routes direct aircraft over less populated areas, such as forest preserves and highways, as well as commercial and industrial areas.”

Residents and officials have both made requests to extend the hours of the Fly Quiet Program, but the CDA leader Rosemarie Andolino has rejected all suggestions.

There is also a O’Hare Noise Commission was created by the city in years past to address such problems with noise, but critics say that the Commission spends less time finding solutions to noise, and more time justifying the traffic as a bonus for Chicago’s economy.

Regardless, local residents are still suffering from the noise.

“My idea is just to welcome some of these big-shot (politicians) to my property. I am going to make a coffee for you. We will sit down for a couple of hours under the planes and talk about it because what is happening now is empty talking,”  Chester Gorniak, Bensenville resident .

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