O'Hare noise complaints soar in Bensenville

Bensenville complaints about jet noise surpassed Chicago in April, according to a report released Friday at an O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission meeting.

Usually, Chicagoans lead the pack, but Bensenville residents made 152,209 complaints about O'Hare International Airport flights in April compared to 126,094 from the city.

Overall, concerns about the din soared in April, as more people opened windows and spent time outside. There were 10,961 complaints in April 2014 compared to 408,468 this year and 352,846 in March 2015.

The April 2015 complaints came from 71 households in Bensenville and 27,946 in Chicago.

The O'Hare modernization plan, approved by the FAA, allows for the creation or expansion of six parallel runways. The new system is supposed to be more efficient and safer and increase airport capacity.

But after the airport switched to a primarily east-west pattern of departures and arrivals in late 2013, it's been deafening for some neighborhoods near O'Hare and as far away as Wayne.

Locations in the suburbs and Chicago for four FAA hearings on O'Hare runways this August are under negotiation, said Mount Prospect Mayor Arlene Juracek, ONCC chairwoman.

The hearings are expected to be packed and organizers are looking for spaces that will hold up to 1,000 people.

The names of sites are not yet public but "we hope to get them soon so people can make plans," Juracek said.

Chicago Department of Aviation officials also gave details of a flight tracking feature on their website.

The WebTrak data allows people to see flights coming in and out of O'Hare and Midway International Airport and to identify airlines, aircraft, destinations and origins. There is a 20-minute delay between real-time and what people will see on the screens.

The technology does not provide decibel levels of planes as is offered at some other airport websites with flight tracking.

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