Report warns of more O'Hare jet noise at night

  • Jets flying over the suburbs are giving rise to more noise complaints.

      Jets flying over the suburbs are giving rise to more noise complaints. Mark Welsh/mwelsh@, August 2015

Updated 11/19/2015 9:30 PM

A jet noise watchdog group predicts nighttime flights at O'Hare International Airport will affect thousands more people than originally thought and recommends tougher overnight flying restrictions Thursday.

A report commissioned by the Suburban O'Hare Commission estimates that more than 45,000 people will be affected by nighttime airplane noise when airport modernization is complete by 2021 instead of the 25,000 projected in a government study.


Part of the reason is a shift from smaller regional jets to larger long-distance aircraft, the report prepared by JDA Aviation Technology Solutions suggests.

The consultants estimate that 10.5 percent of O'Hare operations will occur at nighttime by 2021 instead of 5.6 percent as calculated in an environmental impact study of O'Hare modernization.

But they also noted their predictions were a worst-case scenario and noise could be reduced if Chicago developed "a more aggressive Fly Quiet program."

The consultants also advised the city use three runways, including a diagonal one, to more evenly distribute jet noise from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Another suggestion was to encourage airlines to use newer planes at night and avoid older, louder aircraft.

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"We are reviewing the reports from the Suburban O'Hare Commission and we welcome the analysis of any interested party in the productive discussion of nighttime noise near O'Hare International Airport," Chicago Department of Aviation spokesman Owen Kilmer said.

"The best venue for these discussions is the O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission ad hoc Fly Quiet committee, which was created after the CDA released a 24-point plan in July to address nighttime noise near O'Hare."

The Suburban O'Hare Commission includes Addison, Bensenville, DuPage County, Elk Grove Village, Hanover Park, Itasca, Roselle and Wood Dale.

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