Air traffic noise discussed at Edgebrook Community Meeting
by Brian Nadig
As implementation of the O’Hare Modernization Plan progresses, many Far Northwest Side communities are expected to experience additional increases in flights over their homes while some suburbs reportedly are experiencing large reductions.
“It’s a big issue any way you look at it. It’s going to increase by over 400 percent, and we want a reason why, and we haven’t gotten one,” said resident Andrew Ginocchio, who is the 39th Ward representative to the O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission. He and James Argionis of the Park Ridge O’Hare Noise Commission were guest speakers at the March 14 meeting of the Edgebrook Community Association.
Both Ginocchio and Argionis said that their goal is not to stop the modernization plan but to make sure that there is an equitable distribution of flights over both city and suburban communities. Ginocchio said that while parts of the Northwest Side are getting “dumped on,” other areas “are going to get a significant reduction in noise, like the Northwest suburbs and North Shore.”
A retired city Department of Aviation worker who lives near Indian Road and Central Avenue said that he can feel his house shaking due to the recent increase in air traffic over his home. “It’s non-stop, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. It’s like they found us. We get no relief, share the wealth,” the man said at the meeting.
The community association is urging residents to report complaints about air traffic noise to the O’Hare compatibility commission at www.oharenoise.org or call 1-800-435-9569.
While the area began experience changes in air traffic in 2008, the number of daily nighttime flights over the Edgebrook-Sauganash area could increase from about 20 to 100 starting Oct. 17 when new Runway 10 Center/28 Center, which lines up with Wilson Avenue. That opening of that runway will cause a shift in runway patterns at the airport, Ginocchio said.
The planned runway changes at night will result in a high number of planes landing on a runway which is north of the terminal and the cargo area, Ginocchio said. He said that a more convenient runaway is available but that he cannot get an answer from airport officials as to why that runway will not be used during the overnight hours.
Some residents suggested that the Federal Aviation Administration put more pressure on the airlines to purchase newer airplanes that are environmentally friendlier and produce less jet noise. Ginocchio said that due to the high cost of oil, airlines are looking to replace their older planes with more fuel-efficient ones.
Argionis said that the Park Ridge commission would like the FAA to conduct a new environmental study on the O’Hare runway expansion. He said that the last study was conducted 8 years.
The modernization plan at O’Hare is intended to create predominantly an east-west flow of air traffic over the airport, with less use of the diagonal runways. In some areas of the 39th Ward, communities will experience a reduction in flights over their homes, Ginocchio said.
It also was reported that noise level stemming from air traffic above Edgebrook is not considered high enough to qualify for federal grants for home insulation.