“OUR VOICE HEIGHTENS AWARENESS OF AIRPORT NEIGHBORS’ NOISE CONCERNS
WHILE WE ALSO APPRECIATE WHAT A SAFE AND EFFICIENT WORLD-CLASS AIRPORT
BRINGS TO THE REGION.”
—MAYOR ARLENE MULDER, ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, ILLINOIS
departure configurations. As new east-west parallel
runways come online, air traffic patterns are changing. The east-west flow created by the OMP reduces
the airport’s overall noise footprint by 3. 6 square
miles. After the next new OMP runway — Runway
10C/28C — comes online in October 2013, air traffic
will primarily flow in an east-west direction.
“The OMP is creating changes on the ground and
changes in the air,” said Andolino. “We have been
working very diligently to sound insulate all eli-
gible homes before new runways come online.”
The CDA has implemented an aggressive sound
insulation program that follows FAA’s projected
noise contour under the full build-out of the OMP.
Since 1995, more than 8,000 homes around O’Hare
have received sound insulation. The Residential
Sound Insulation Program for Chicago O’Hare is
recognized worldwide as one of the most extensive
endeavors to mitigate aircraft noise. Homes located
within the noise contour are eligible for sound
proofing at no cost to the resident, which includes
the installation of new acoustical windows and
doors, and in certain buildings, new air-condition-
This year, the CDA has an ambitious goal to
sound insulate 1,600 homes around O’Hare — the
most ever in one year. More than 300 workers are
now in the field completing inspections/surveys
and installing windows and doors. The work is
being done at a rapid pace, with an average of 50
homes being sound insulated each week throughout the summer.
In addition to providing residential sound insulation, Chicago is also a founding member of the
O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission (ONCC).
The ONCC, which was formed in 1996, now represents 29 communities, 16 school districts and five
Chicago wards. The ONCC’s mission is to assist
in developing methods to reduce aircraft noise in
neighborhoods through sound insulation and to
reduce aircraft noise at its source.
The ONCC is a strong advocate for residents and
school districts. The members of the ONCC and
its chairman, Mayor Arlene Mulder of Arlington
Heights, appreciate the economic benefits and
jobs the airport brings to the region, but they also
understand the adverse impacts of living nearby
one of the world’s busiest airports. Operating
under the idea of cooperation instead of opposition, the ONCC has the ear of FAA, air traffic controllers, airlines, pilots and congressional leaders.
“Typically, when we invite everyone around the
table, all stakeholders work to achieve the goal
of aircraft noise mitigation,” explained Mulder.
“We respect each other’s viewpoint with give-and-
take to reach common ground and achieve better
results. It is somewhat unusual for a community
group to be part of an airport modernization plan.
Our voice heightens awareness of airport neigh-
bors’ noise concerns while we also appreciate what
a safe and efficient world-class airport brings to
O’Hare’s Fly Quiet Program is an example of
the ONCC’s success. Under the program, pilots
and air traffic controllers are urged to use pref-
erential runways and flight tracks during night-
time hours to minimize effects of aircraft noise
on residential areas. The ONCC, CDA and air-
lines developed the preferred routes that direct
aircraft over less-populated areas such as forest
preserves, highways and industrial areas.
The CDA has