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updated: 11/3/2017 6:09 PM

New overnight noise plan at O'Hare is dividing suburbs

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  • A jet flies over apartments near Allstate Arena in Rosemont.

      A jet flies over apartments near Allstate Arena in Rosemont.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer/2014

 
 

Leaders of an O'Hare noise commission on Friday laid out an ambitious schedule to discuss and possibly approve an overnight runway rotation plan to replace a 12-week one that ended in mid-October.

The aim is to spread the din from jets evenly around the region at night and it's generated intense interest from city and suburban neighborhoods where residents are kept awake frequently.

The newest rotation would start once the city closes a long diagonal runway (15/33) in spring 2018 and last until fall 2020 when a new east-west runway opens in the center of O'Hare's north airfield, according to the O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission.

The Federal Aviation Administration could take up to a year to conduct a detailed assessment of the rotation's impact, which will include public hearings.

That's one reason the ONCC intends to hold several committee meetings on the rotation concept in November, including a Monday session, with a possible vote by the whole board Dec. 1.

Already battle lines are being drawn between suburbs such as Elmhurst and Des Plaines, which fear the use of two smaller diagonal runways will keep residents up at night, and towns like Bensenville and Wood Dale, which have born the brunt of the jet noise for years and want relief.

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