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updated: 9/27/2017 8:50 AM

Elmhurst urges residents to help fight jet noise

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  • Elmhurst officials continue to urge residents to complete a survey to provide ammunition in their fight against airplane noise from O'Hare International Airport.

    Elmhurst officials continue to urge residents to complete a survey to provide ammunition in their fight against airplane noise from O'Hare International Airport.
    Daily Herald file photo

 
By Yolanda Perdomo
Daily Herald correspondent

With a social media campaign in full swing, Elmhurst continues to encourage residents to take a short online survey about concerns with airplane noise from O'Hare International Airport.

Noise complaints led the city council in August to unanimously pass a resolution opposing the Chicago Department of Aviation's Runway Rotation Plan, which was created to analyze the impact of airplane noise in different neighborhoods bordering O'Hare.

Elmhurst is directly in the flight path when diagonal runways are used, which residents say has significantly increased noise in their community.

The city wants to use results of the survey -- available at www.elmhurst.org/voiceconcern -- to demonstrate the need to reduce that noise.

The O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission approved three tests as part of its Fly Quiet program.

The first ran from July to December 2016 and the second from April 30 to July 23. The third began in late July and is scheduled to run for 12 weeks. The tests are analyzed by community feedback, including a survey designed for the program.

On Monday, members of the city council's public safety committee discussed ways to encourage more residents to complete the noise survey.

Kassondra Schref, the city's communications manager, said a social media campaign to get the word out already has produced a huge response.

"Over 20,000 residents have engaged with the posts," Schref said.

She said the city also is handing out 1,000 postcards urging residents to participate and placing posters at businesses.

"We are trying to reach our entire community asking them to help their fellow neighbors who are having concerns with increased airplane noise," she said.

The third leg of the test is scheduled to end Oct. 14 and City Manager Jim Grabowski said the survey results will be important to gauge where the community stands on the issue.

"There are some communities that would like to see the runway rotation continue and there are some that don't want to see it continue in the form that it's in now," he said. "What we are doing is getting the word out to the residents of its importance because we've been told by the Fly Quiet ad hoc committee that they will take that into account when they evaluate whether the runway rotation test is successful or not."

The city and Federal Aviation Administration will hold a public forum at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3, at city hall where residents can express their views.

The meeting will include a presentation by the FAA and a Q&A session with written questions. Questions must be submitted on a form that will be provided at the meeting.

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