Third runway test begins

The O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission has announced that the third "Fly Quiet" runway rotation test began on Sunday, July 23, at O’Hare International Airport.

The test will be for a period of 12 weeks, the commission said. Each new week will begin on Sunday evening at 10 p.m. or when demand allows for one arrival and one departure runway.

"Test 3 is basically to see what life will be like without Runway 15/33," said commission executive director Jeanette Camacho. The purpose of the test is to assist the Chicago Department of Aviation in developing an Interim "Fly Quiet" Runway Rotation plan that may be in place from the time of Runway 15 and 33 is decommissioned in spring of 2018 through the time of Runway 9C and 27C that is slated to open in the fall of 2020.

CDA staff plans to conduct an environmental analysis and perform modeling to develop the interim plan. The test will exclude the Runway 15 and 33 so residents could experience a rotation plan that could potentially be in place when the runway is decommissioned.

Test 3 will incorporate five runways over the 12-week period.

Camacho said the third test includes improvements made by the commission from the second test2. Camacho also said feedback from the Federal Aviation Administration about Test 2 was considered and some scenarios have been eliminated for Test 3.The goals of the runway rotation test are to provide near-term relief, reduce nighttime noise to the highest impacted communities, and provide predictability by publishing a rotation schedule that allows citizens to predict periods of relief to the extent possible.

The CDA and the FAA are encouraging residents to provide feedback on the test by completing an online survey. The survey can be found at

"We have received a positive response on the runway rotation tests," said ONCC Chair Arlene Juracek. "Residents are reporting that they have experienced relief from nighttime noise as a result of the runway rotation. We are asking residents to continue to report on their experiences with the runway rotation test by completing the online survey. It is important that we know how the test is effecting them."
"We encourage residents to check schedules online so they know when their community will be affected," said Camacho.

Camacho said there are plans for a meeting to discuss results from Test 2 as well as the progress of Test 3.

For complete schedules and information, visit