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More fun with numbers

Tuesday, Jan 21, 2014

* Sounds horrible, doesn’t it?…

As the number of complaints about the racket caused by jets using O’Hare Airport’s new runway soar, two Northwest Side aldermen want answers from airport officials about what can be done to turn down the volume.

From September — the last full month before the new east-west runway opened in October — to November, complaints to the city-run toll-free hotline rose 124 percent, according to data compiled by the O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission.

Aldermen are furious and Congressman Quigley wants flights halted O’Hare’s “fly quiet program” to start at 9 o’clock every night.

* But

The 4,763 complaints filed in November came from 395 people, with each complainant making an average of 12 calls to the hotline, Pride said.

I’m not sure that 395 people ought to control the destiny of one of the world’s most important airports, but that’s just me.

Also, about half of those calls came from the suburbs, so aldermen are all up in arms about two hundred people.

On the other hand, there are some pricey homes in Sauganash and some very connected residents.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


39 Comments
  1. - tubbfan - Tuesday, Jan 21, 14 @ 1:24 pm:

    Guess they should have thought about all those planes landing when they bought houses near an airport.


  2. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 21, 14 @ 1:26 pm:

    –Congressman Quigley wants flights halted at 9 o’clock every night.–

    Is he out of his mind? Where does he thinks he lives, Mayberry?

    O’Hare has been one of the busiest airports in the world since 1960. Guess what happens when you choose to live next to one of the world’s busiest airports?


  3. - Red Ranger - Tuesday, Jan 21, 14 @ 1:28 pm:

    9 PM flight ban, yep that will work. Also, how about no flights before 7 AM too. Those jets are loud in the morning too. Interrupts the morning cup of Joe. Im sure the Mayor will be all over this one. Its not like O’Hare just sprung up last week. Residents knew what they were getting into when they bought their home near by.


  4. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jan 21, 14 @ 1:29 pm:

    They live next to an airport. What exactly did they expect?


  5. - Mokenavince - Tuesday, Jan 21, 14 @ 1:31 pm:

    The airport has been there for 5o years, surprise planes make noise.

    People screamed about noise at Midway it almost was shut down. It revved up and nobody notices the noise.
    It just goes to show you, the squeaky wheel get the oil.


  6. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jan 21, 14 @ 1:37 pm:

    Sorta like a Solon sleeping over a saloon, eh?


  7. - Big Muddy - Tuesday, Jan 21, 14 @ 1:42 pm:

    Congresscritter Quigley walks this one back pretty quickly methinks. End flights at one of the worlds busiest airports at 9pm? Mope.


  8. - Downstate GOP voter - Tuesday, Jan 21, 14 @ 1:43 pm:

    According to the Chicago Department of Aviation website

    “O’Hare is an economic engine for the Chicago area. There are approximately 450,000 jobs in the Chicago Region associated with O’Hare and the Airport’s economic impact is estimated to be $38 billion.”

    So if

    “Aldermen are furious and Congressman Quigley wants flights halted at 9 o’clock every night.”

    One needs to ask how many jobs and how much economic impact on Chicago and the Chicago region are they willing to give up?


  9. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 21, 14 @ 1:43 pm:

    They live next to an airport. What exactly did they expect?

    Sauganash is nowhere near the airport.


  10. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Jan 21, 14 @ 1:44 pm:

    === Congressman Quigley wants flights halted at 9 o’clock every night ===

    LOL. Why not 9:30?

    And what time can they begin flying again in the mornings? 6? 7? 8? O’Hare is only one of the most important human and cargo transit points in the world.


  11. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Jan 21, 14 @ 1:45 pm:

    By the way Congressman Quigley, the “el” trains make quite a racket while running beside the windows of many residential areas in Chicago.

    We’d better shut down the “el” at 9 o’clock as well.


  12. - Angry Republican - Tuesday, Jan 21, 14 @ 1:46 pm:

    Be careful what you wish for, even jokingly. San Jose airport does flight restrictions from 11 PM to 7 AM for certain types of aircraft


  13. - Nonplussed - Tuesday, Jan 21, 14 @ 1:47 pm:

    Taking FKA’s post and using the number Rich had in another post, O’Hare is responsible for 6% of GSP.


  14. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 21, 14 @ 1:54 pm:

    ===Sauganash is nowhere near the airport.===

    The new runway is causing complaints from that neighborhood.


  15. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Tuesday, Jan 21, 14 @ 2:16 pm:

    It’s 9 oclock. Do you know where your 747 is?


  16. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jan 21, 14 @ 2:18 pm:

    Daley did a nice job sneaking this past a bunch of people. Anyone with a map and common sense could have seen that the “modernization” plan was only going to push more planes in the east-west corridor.


  17. - DuPage - Tuesday, Jan 21, 14 @ 2:20 pm:

    Modify the houses, same as the program used previously in other neighborhoods.
    It was expensive. Typically involved adding a lot of insulation, new windows and then, the windows would need to remain shut. So central air conditioning is needed to keep the house cool enough with the windows closed. But some of the houses have hot water radiators (no air ducts). So new forced air furnaces and sheet metal has to be installed. But the wiring is not large enough for the central air, so new upgraded electrical service and wiring have to be installed. Multiply this by hundreds of houses and it gets to be a very expensive noise abatement project. I don’t know who paid for the previous projects, but there was a fund for it.
    Who funded it? Federal, city, or part of the cost of the airport expansion project? Anyone remember? There was a similar program near Midway, I don’t know if it was part of the same program or not.


  18. - IrishPirate - Tuesday, Jan 21, 14 @ 2:31 pm:

    Some folks in Edgewater are complaining too. Proximity to the airport is not the only factor. Being below the flight path is.

    I have a high tolerance for noise, it’s part of life in da big city, but some people lack that quality.

    That being said years ago flight paths were altered to reduce the number of flights over parts of near to O’Hare Park Ridge. Plenty of wealthy folks there too.

    As for closing the runway after 9PM Quigley should be looking for his brain–Down Under. Get it? “Quigley: Down Under”. Tip your waitstaff well.


  19. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 21, 14 @ 2:32 pm:

    I remember the good old days when folks accused airlines of having their planes accelerate “right over my house” and alleged this was because of the complaints lodged. What a scream. I also remember folks complaining about black streaks on their patios - the folks claimed it was jet exhaust. Oh, Prunella.

    Airplanes have become much quieter and more efficient with new tech jet engines. Coupled with new take off strategies this has led to much quieter operations at airports around the world. O’Hare is an economic engine in Chicago and the state. It wouldn’t surprise me if some of the folks complaining could even owe much of their financial security to the airport. Biting the hand that feeds you……


  20. - Raymond - Tuesday, Jan 21, 14 @ 2:34 pm:

    === But some of the houses have hot water radiators (no air ducts). So new forced air furnaces and sheet metal has to be installed. ===

    Go with a small duct/high velocity system such as Space Pak; no sheet metal necessary.


  21. - LakeviewJ - Tuesday, Jan 21, 14 @ 2:52 pm:

    DuPage-

    Q: Who pays for the program?

    Historically, the Chicago Department of Aviation provided 100 percent of funding for the Residential Sound Insulation Program through Passenger Facility Charges (PFCs) assessed by airlines for each passenger departing or arriving at O’Hare International Airport. The FAA has provided Airport Improvement Program funding for homes sound insulated since 2005. Funds are committed for completion of all homes identified as eligible for sound insulation.

    Source:http://www.oharenoise.org/residential_program_FAQs.htm


  22. - Anon - Tuesday, Jan 21, 14 @ 3:00 pm:

    Arthur Andersen - I don’t know how Daley ’snuck’ this past everyone…the modernization plan was put forth over 13 years ago (2001)…people have had plenty of time to object.

    Heck, even the FAA opposed this plan until Congress passed legislation making Daley’s plan law.

    This decade-plus fight has been very visible to anyone paying attention.


  23. - Finally Out (formerly Ready to Get Out) - Tuesday, Jan 21, 14 @ 3:01 pm:

    I just spent the last three days in Rosemont and it didn’t seem that bad. Occasionally some were a little noisy, but overall not too bad.

    Also have to agree with some comments about buying a house near an airport. Didn’t you know O’Hare was there? And has been for many years? And is one of the busiest airports in the world?


  24. - Joan P. - Tuesday, Jan 21, 14 @ 3:31 pm:

    Why don’t they just send out the bulldozers in the middle of the night?


  25. - Conservative Republican - Tuesday, Jan 21, 14 @ 3:48 pm:

    ==On the other hand, there are some pricey homes in Sauganash and some very connected residents. ==

    LOL!

    I have a friend who has lived in Itasca for 30 years. He is always amused by the latest, new neighbor who comes by with a petition seeking support for more O’Hare noise abatement. My friend always asks the petitioners: “Did you ever look at the map before you moved here?”

    But the story here reaffirms Al Capp’s theory, expounded in Lil Abner, about the Schmoo effect. Sure with I had a copy of that strip today.


  26. - DuPage - Tuesday, Jan 21, 14 @ 4:02 pm:

    @Raymond 2:34=SpacePac=Looks like a good product, but is it allowed in the Chicago building codes? They are very strict, a lot of products allowed everywhere else are not allowed in Chicago.


  27. - Chris - Tuesday, Jan 21, 14 @ 4:06 pm:

    “I just spent the last three days in Rosemont and it didn’t seem that bad. Occasionally some were a little noisy, but overall not too bad.”

    Yeah, in general, Rosemont was *benefitted* by the shift.


  28. - Waldi - Tuesday, Jan 21, 14 @ 4:07 pm:

    I used to live near O’Hare - right near the end of a busy runway. At times the planes would be so loud you had to pause your conversation because you couldn’t hear anything but the jet engines. I finally moved - I knew the airport wasn’t going anywhere. My bad - the airport was there way before I was. My bad - the airport was there way before I was so I had no right to complain. Its hard to take these other complaints seriously.


  29. - Rahm's Parking Meter - Tuesday, Jan 21, 14 @ 4:09 pm:

    I now live under the flight path for the new runway being built on the south end of the airport along Irving Park (yes in Lakeview, but that is where planes have been turning for final approach). I am aware of where I live, and what that entails. If you don’t like it, move.
    I don’t mind a stream of A320s, 737s, 747s, regional jets, flying over me if it is for a greater economic good. Do you think people in the New York area complain about Newark, LaGuardia and JFK to the point of CLOSE AT 9! NO!


  30. - downstate commissioner - Tuesday, Jan 21, 14 @ 4:16 pm:

    LOL-sounds like the people down here who move to the country and complain about the smells, the dust, the chemicals, and the snow-covered roads (no bare pavement policies).
    Did see something about a new runway, though; if a new runway was put in after the house was bought, and noise levels went up at that time, they might have a reason to complain. Comparable to the new giant hog and dairy farms being fought by locals who have live next to smaller farms for years.


  31. - Chris - Tuesday, Jan 21, 14 @ 4:23 pm:

    “SpacePac=Looks like a good product, but is it allowed in the Chicago building codes? They are very strict, a lot of products allowed everywhere else are not allowed in Chicago.”

    Yes, spacepac is allowed.


  32. - Chris - Tuesday, Jan 21, 14 @ 4:33 pm:

    “Do you think people in the New York area complain about Newark, LaGuardia and JFK to the point of CLOSE AT 9! NO!”

    Um, LGA has a curfew. Sure, it’s not 9 pm (it’s from 12:01 to 6:01), and it’s only for about 6 months (April to October–when people want their windows open), but it is still a curfew, so asking for a curfew is non-absurd.


  33. - Upon Further Review - Tuesday, Jan 21, 14 @ 4:59 pm:

    @Tubfan:

    Some of us are more than ten miles from the airport and it is getting louder.


  34. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 21, 14 @ 6:29 pm:

    They yapped about the new runway for decades. Everyone knew it was coming. The federales wanted it, badly.

    My father-in-law and some of his family had houses in Bensenville south of Irving Park Road. You could get a lot of house on big lots for a very good price, considering the area. The airport discount was built in.


  35. - Just The Way It Is One - Tuesday, Jan 21, 14 @ 7:22 pm:

    Halting flights at 9 pm ‘cuz of a piddly couple hundred ornery constituents? Ain’t gonna happen. Sorry Mike. Best to pick some other worthier battle to pick carefully…’cuz no WAY the City (OR State of Illinois for that matter) is gonna be willing to give up all of that additional dough (i.e. Revenue) those flights no doubt bring in…!


  36. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 21, 14 @ 7:39 pm:

    Quigley’s 9 p.m. proposal is either one of the dumbest ideas of all time or just insulting hack parochial pandering. There’s really not another option.

    The Eternal Victims don’t like to hear it, but the Chicago metro is a big deal in the global economy — and O’Hare is a powerhouse. But it has competition.

    Most factors in the global economy you can’t control on the local level — but operation of O’Hare is one you definitely can.

    It’s hard to believe a Congressman from Chicago would even consider curtailing operations. It’s crazy. Get your head on straight, Quigley. Those are peoples’ jobs you’re messing with.


  37. - park - Tuesday, Jan 21, 14 @ 8:07 pm:

    who cares about the suburbs?


  38. - drew - Tuesday, Jan 21, 14 @ 8:13 pm:

    Actually, according to the article, the congressman just wants the airport’s existing noise-reduction procedures to start at 9pm instead of 10pm. The airport says there’s too much traffic during that hour to handle under the nighttime procedures.

    It makes sense to me that the new runway layout, with several parallel, non-intersecting runways (similar to LAX, DFW, ATL) would be safer than the old design with active runways crossing each other. And I would tend to prioritize the safety of the flying public over a few residents’ complaints.


  39. - mokenavince - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 8:45 am:

    Rahm should do the moaners up north a favor. Bulldoze the runway like Daley did Meigs Field.


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