Elk Grove, Itasca mayors bring 2,000 comment cards to O'Hare noise hearing
The mayors of Elk Grove Village and Itasca on Thursday helped deliver 16 boxes full of comment cards from their residents to FAA officials in an effort, they say, to "help make O'Hare a better neighbor."
Craig Johnson of Elk Grove and Jeff Pruyn of Itasca brought the written comments on airport noise of some 2,000 people to the last of four FAA forums about O'Hare International Airport runways at Belvedere Banquets in Elk Grove Village.
Both mayors are members of the Suburban O'Hare Commission, a noise watchdog group that fought airport expansion for years but is now focusing on reducing noise.
"We're here to make sure the FAA and Chicago and O'Hare Airport understand we have concerns," Johnson said.
The effort mirrors the delivery Elk Grove officials made to an Illinois Department of Transportation forum in 2009 about a proposed Elgin-O'Hare west bypass expressway that would have cut through the business park. At that time, a large dump truck was used to bring 40,000 comment cards to Belvedere Banquets.
Elk Grove officials collected comments through a form on the village website and at two village summer concerts.
Each preprinted card asks the FAA to make a voluntarily fly quiet program mandatory, fund and expand soundproofing, and maintain all runway options.
The two mayors met with FAA Great Lakes Regional Administrator Barry Cooper, who said the FAA is invested in the O'Hare modernization project as it improves the "safety and efficiency" of the airport. "But we're sensitive at the same time to the community around us," he said.