Noise Affected Communities Want O’Hare to Hear Them

Springfield, IL … In an effort to show solidarity, lawmakers whose districts surround O’Hare International Airport joined together to urge the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to halt the deconstruction or decommissioning of any runway until a series of public hearings are held. The resolution calls for the FAA to conduct, an already agreed upon, four open forum discussions with individuals affected by the noise generated by the airport. Further the resolution requests that the FAA hold three additional private meetings with members of the FAiR Coalition, a citizen-led group which advocates on behalf of those affected by the noise.

State Representative Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago), who represents Chicago’s far northwest-side and portions of its neighboring suburbs, is a chief co-sponsor of the resolution. Since 2014, McAuliffe has worked with area state and municipal officials in order to find answers for their constituents who have been impacted by the increase in jet noise. Rep. McAuliffe explained:

“The people of my district have been impacted by the increase in noise produced by O’Hare Airport for about two years now. There should be no question, that members of the communities that are most affected by the increase in jet noise should have an opportunity to air their grievances. They deserve a fair hearing in which they can get answers to their questions from the FAA.”

Since the beginning of the O’Hare Modernization Project (OMP) and the realignment of runways in 2013, areas surrounding the airport have seen a drastic increase of low flying aircraft. Influenced by the OMP, the FAA has steered away from using the diagonal runways which have been known to result in the least amount of noise because they lead to flight patterns over expressways, industrial zones and forest preserves. Earlier in May it was rumored that the City of Chicago Department of Aviation was going to have these runways decommissioned as the airport had moved to an almost sole usage of the parallel runways.

“The officials at O’Hare Airport must hold off any decommissioning of runways until they hear from the people who are directly impacted by these decisions. I hear from constituents nearly every day about the noise and how it is affecting their daily lives. They want answers,” continued Rep. McAuliffe. “I hope the FAA takes our recommendation to heart and proceeds with these open house meetings with the neighboring communities.”

Earlier this month State Representative McAuliffe co-sponsored legislation aimed at increasing the amount of allowed active runways from eight to ten. The allowance of two additional runways would give O’Hare Airport the opportunity to operate the diagonal runways, while proceeding with the OMP.