Pilots departing from Chicago Executive Airport will soon begin using a new temporary departure route for night flights to help reduce the noise residents who live close to the airport hear.
The route would take aircraft over a more industrial and commercial area of Wheeling instead of the current plan, which takes planes over an area "intensely populated" with residents, Chicago Executive Airport Director Jamie Abbott said.
It is unclear when the temporary departure plan will take effect, but Abbott says it should be in place by mid-September.
Airport staffers say pilots have been receptive to the change, which would take effect daily from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. and last for six months.
"Nobody had any issues at all," Abbott said.
When pilots depart from the airport on runway 34 now, they head to the north at 340 degrees on a compass. The new plan would require pilots to turn left to 310 as soon as possible after they take off.
On the new path, aircraft would not reach a residential area until about Lake-Cook Road, Abbott said. At that point, the aircraft should be high enough to have minimal impact on those residents.
The plan comes out of a study published six years ago. Abbott said he is not sure why the recommendation wasn't taken into serious consideration earlier.
All pilots that follow instrument flight rule, or navigate with instruments rather than just visually, will follow the plan. It will be recommended to smaller aircraft that can sometimes operate under visual flight rules. Most aircraft for hire at the airport operate under instrument flight rules.
Wheeling Village Trustee Joe Vito asked whether a new arrival or landing plan could similarly be implemented.
"Right now it's only for takeoff because there's really no way to adjust arrivals," Abbott said. "That late stage of arrival is pretty much a straight in."
As long as the airport's current configuration remains, aircraft arrivals will remain the same as well, he said.
As far as measuring the new route's effectiveness, Abbott said residents will likely be able to fill out forms online that ask whether they've noticed a reduction in aircraft noise or not.