O'Hare noise complaints in August more than 10 times last year's

  • New noise patterns are making life tough for suburban residents close to O'Hare.

    New noise patterns are making life tough for suburban residents close to O'Hare. George LeClaire | Staff Photographer, August 2014

Updated 10/4/2014 5:22 PM

Residents affected by O'Hare International Airport jet noise are still taking to the phones in big numbers to complain, the latest data from the Chicago Department of Aviation indicates.

New east/west flight patterns introduced after the commissioning of a runway at O'Hare International Airport in October 2013 have disturbed the peace of thousands across the city and suburbs.


Noise complaints jumped from 2,296 in August 2013 to 30,249 this August, a report released Friday states. It was a spike from July 2014, when 27,956 calls were placed.

In hard-hit areas such as Bensenville, complaint totals for August were 4,145 compared to four a year ago. In Itasca, the tally was 1,962 in August versus 151 in 2013; in Chicago calls reached 9,165 compared to 1,575 in 2013, in Wood Dale 2014 complaints were 2,883 contrasted with 58 in 2013, and in Park Ridge it was 1,450 instead of 196 in 2013.

One town where complaints skyrocketed was Elk Grove Village with 5,537 calls as contrasted with nine a year ago.

The Federal Aviation Administration is re-evaluating a 2005 environmental impact study on O'Hare expansion. The study is essentially the playbook for the project, which creates a parallel runway system at O'Hare. But Administrator Michael Huerta has rejected requests to conduct a new or supplemental environmental impact study.

That response has vexed local congressmen including the 5th District's Mike Quigley, who announced last week the formation of a Quiet Skies Caucus. Members so far comprise 13 House Democrats, including two on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which oversees the FAA.

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