New runway could mean more jet noise for some in suburbs

  • A new runway means new noise patterns for the suburbs.

      A new runway means new noise patterns for the suburbs. George LeClaire | Staff Photographer, August 2014

 
 

Details of a runway set to open this fall at O'Hare International Airport show it will handle planes arriving from the west, distributing noise to the relief of some and creating new concerns for other neighborhoods.

The Federal Aviation Authority released computer modeling reports for Runway 10-Right/28-Left Thursday that show how it will be used for the next five to six years until O'Hare modernization is complete.

The runway will be commissioned in mid-October, after a series of public forums in August.

Complaints about jet noise from O'Hare shot up after the airport switched to an east/west aircraft flow using parallel runways in late 2013.

The runway is expected to handle arrivals on "east-flow configurations," meaning aircraft depart and land facing east. O'Hare uses its west-flow system about 70 percent of the time and east-flow about 30 percent.

"The new east flow configurations offer the opportunity for three independent arrivals and create increased airport efficiency," FAA officials said.

"The new east-flow configurations also spread out departures toward the east to different runways and spread out some arrivals from the west to different runways."

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Runway 10-Right/28-Left's flight path to the west is over Fenton High School in Bensenville and along Montrose Avenue, according to city of Chicago plans.

Those plans will be altered in 2020 to 2021 when a runway is added to the north side of O'Hare and an extension of an existing runway near it is completed.

All three projects were supposed to have been finished at the same time but American and United airlines balked at financing the plans and the work was put on the back burner.

As a result the FAA is re-evaluating its original environmental impact statement, a blueprint for O'Hare modernization, and holding meetings on the report.

The FAA forums run from 1 to 9 p.m. on: 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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