Residents get the lowdown on the latest O'Hare runway plan

  • Jon Kunkel of Hanover Park, right, asks aviation consultant Scott Macintosh about a runway rotation plan Monday at an FAA forum in Elk Grove Village.

      Jon Kunkel of Hanover Park, right, asks aviation consultant Scott Macintosh about a runway rotation plan Monday at an FAA forum in Elk Grove Village. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

 
 

Residents had their first chance Monday to learn and vent about an 11-month overnight runway rotation at O'Hare International Airport intended to distribute the noise from jets around the region.

The Federal Aviation Administration is holding four forums this week to explain the proposal, starting in Elk Grove Village, where Scott Horejs spent time absorbing multiple runway diagrams.

"I think they'll be some additional disruptions, but for 11 months I can probably deal with some of the noise as long as it's not constant," said Horejs, who lives in Wood Dale.

The plan, developed by the O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission, would change weekly and rotate use of diagonal and parallel runways.

Some neighborhoods in Park Ridge, Des Plaines, Norridge and Bensenville, for example, would experience more airplane flights on certain weeks.

"Is it balanced? As I look at the numbers ... I would say they really nailed it," Hanover Park Mayor Rod Craig said.

The FAA is seeking residents' comments and is offering a feature where people can use an interactive map to look up how the rotation would affect their homes.

If the FAA concurs, the rotation would run November 2019 through mid-May 2020, halt for construction, then continue from mid-September 2020 through January 2021.

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The commission is working on a permanent overnight rotation to be implemented after a sixth parallel runway is extended in 2021.

"Anything we can do to bring predictability to when the noisier periods are going to be versus when the quieter periods are going to be is important," Chairwoman and Mount Prospect Mayor Arlene Juracek said.

Remaining workshops are: today at White Eagle Banquets, 6839 N. Milwaukee Ave., Niles; Wednesday at Hanging Gardens Banquet Rooms, 8301 W. Belmont Ave., River Grove; and Thursday at the Diplomat West, 681 W. North Ave., Elmhurst. All are from 2 to 8 p.m.

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