It is no surprise to feel the rumble of a large passenger plane taking off overhead in West Dunning on a lazy Sunday morning. But have you ever-wondered who is responsible for ensuring our area is safe from the airline noise and pollution? We did and here is what we found out…
O’Hare International Airport is run by the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA), which is a self-funded department under the oversight of the City Council. The CDA, has an executive team managing everything from operations, finance, security, and interestingly enough, has a Commissioner of “Noise Abatement & Environment.”
The Department of Aviation recognizes that neighborhoods surrounding the airport are affected by noise, which can be found on their website O’Hare Noise Management and have developed, implemented, and continue to improve and enhance their noise abatement programs.
The O’Hare Modernization Plan (OMP), which has added runways, closed runways, and increased the volume and flow of air traffic, is projected to be completed by 2021. That is why some longtime residents may have noticed an increase in airline traffic. No you are not crazy, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and CDA are fully aware there would be changes in the areas affected by the noise.
In 2005 a Noise Contour Map was created based on historical data to model how the new runways would affect the neighboring communities. Current home sound proofing programs are based on this map, however residents not on the map are also being affected.
The CDA in coordination with the FAA have created a complaint management system to collect complaints from local residents, schools, and businesses to see which areas are being affected. There are also physical noise monitors in various area’s surrounding the airport including one in the vicinity of Harlem and Addison.
The CDA tallies and shares complaints on a monthly basis to create the future noise contour map projected to be drawn 5 years after the Modernization Plan is complete or 3 years after the last runway is complete in 2021.
The data from noise complaints and the monitors will be used directly when deciding where to pour resources for soundproofing and where they direct flight patterns going forward.
In order to ensure that Dunning residents are not passed over for soundproofing measures, it is essential that Dunning be vigilant in reporting airline noise, low flying planes, house vibrations, or a high frequency of planes going over. File an Aircraft Noise Complaint here.