A pair of Wheeling residents raised concerns Wednesday about jet noise coming from the Chicago Executive Airport runway as the board that oversees the facility's operations said they are moving ahead with a study to determining its potential benefits and impacts.
The board said last week that the study will examine adding 2,000 feet to the airport's longest runway, lengthening it from its current 5,000 feet to 7,000 feet long.
Board member Ray Lang said Wednesday officials should have an employment contract in place to pursue the study by the next board meeting on June 18.
The board shared the idea of the study last week with the Wheeling village board and the Prospect Heights council. Representatives from the two municipalities, which have owned the airport since 1986, supported the study, though a few members expressed concern about the nearby businesses and homes that would be displaced if the runway were lengthened.
Charlie Priester, whose family once owned the airport, said last week that large corporate planes, which need runways of 7,000 feet, are the future for airports like Chicago Executive,
Nearby residents Steve and Nancy Neff raised concerns about the day-night sound level contour map on the airport's website, which displays noise exposure for the airport's surrounding areas. Steve Neff, whose Wheeling home sits beneath air traffic flow, asked if the board would be updating the map because of noise exposure.
"We're experiencing a high frequency of jets flying over," he said, adding that sound levels are getting worse, and the contour map is no longer accurate.
Airport Executive Director Jamie Abbott said he would find out when the map's study was completed to see if the information needs to be updated.
"After it is re-evaluated and recertified, we can once again pursue the program," he said.
"It's not a quick process, but if the board wants me to proceed with that, we definitely will," he added.
Board members on Wednesday briefly discussed installing signs at the airport to designate the airport's surrounding communities of Prospect Heights and Wheeling.
"It's a great way to recognize where you're at, but it should be something spectacular," board member David Kolssak said. "That's the gateway to both of our communities for a majority of people."