Forums on O'Hare runway expansion, noise set for August

Residents can learn about and comment on a new runway coming to O'Hare International Airport and effects on noise at four FAA meetings in August.

The Federal Aviation Administration is re-evaluating changes to the timing of two new runways and a runway extension that are part of the O'Hare Modernization Program.

As a result, three forums will be held in the suburbs surrounding O'Hare and one in Chicago, officials said Wednesday. Each will run from 1 to 9 p.m. between Aug. 10 and 13 with experts available to answer questions and take comments from the public.

Chicago has completed half its massive airport expansion program. The remainder comprises building a runway at the far south end of O'Hare (10-Right/28-Left) that will open in October, another new one on the north airfield (9-Center/27Center) and an extension of an existing runway (9Right/27Left).

All three projects were supposed to be completed at about the same time but Runway 9-Center/27-Center and the extension now won't be finished until 2020 and 2021, respectively, partly because of objections over financing from United and American airlines.

That means flight departure and arrival patterns will differ from the FAA's environmental impact statement, a blueprint for the modernization plan, until all work is done, the FAA said.

The city of Chicago switched to a predominantly east-west flight pattern in fall 2013 and reduced use of its diagonal runways. The shift has raised noise levels in some neighborhoods in Chicago and the suburbs.

The FAA's draft re-evaluation that lays out details about conditions with the new runway will be available online in the future, the agency said.

The FAA workshops will occur at the following locations:

• Aug. 10 at White Eagle Banquets, 6839 N. Milwaukee Ave., Niles;

• Aug. 11 at Taft High School, 6530 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Chicago;

• Aug. 12 at Monty's Banquets, 703 S. York Road, Bensenville;

• Aug. 13 at Belvedere Banquets, 1170 W. Devon Ave., Elk Grove Village.

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