The O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission Technical Committee met on Tuesday, October 17 at the Mount Prospect Village Hall. The Chicago Department of Aviation staff updated members on the status of the permanent noise monitors installations, the aircraft noise complaint system, and modifications to the quarterly Fly Quiet Reports.

At the October 6 General Meeting, the Chicago Department of Aviation consultants presented the August 2017 ANMS Report, and the Technical, Residential and Ad Hoc Fly Quiet Committees provided updates on their recent activities.

ONCC Chair and Mount Prospect Mayor Arlene A. Juracek delivered her position regarding a public policy decision-making process as it applies to an Interim Fly Quiet Program vote to the full Commission at its October general meeting. Read full text here

Juracek stated that while all three Fly Quiet rotation tests were different, each test provided “valuable learning tools that will help design the ultimate Interim Fly Quiet Program proposal.”
She reminded ONCC members that they were representatives of regional groups and best serve “all members if they adopt a regional approach and a policy- making process that uses a qualitative, as well as a quantitative lens.”

She outlined the scope of the decision making and factual constraints: 

  1. The interim nighttime runway rotation proposal is a 2-1/2 -year program that will allow residents to experience predictable periods of middle of the night noise relief.
  2. It must work in the context of the physical constraints of the 2-1/2 year OMP construction period. A Fly Quiet program to be implemented after OMP completion will be addressed by the committee and the full commission when it develops an “OMP Buildout” proposal.
  3. Runway 15/33 will be closed next spring as part of the OMP.
  4. All other considerations such as a Chicago region Metroplex, changes to airline fleet mix and new airframe design are beyond the timeframe of our consideration and risk lost opportunities for near-term relief.

Mayor Juracek then said she offered her position only as a guidance and believed members could make a supportable decision by considering the following questions:

  1. Does the proposal represent an equitable balance when considered in a full 360-degree arc around the airport?
  2. How sustainable is the rotation schedule in practical implementation? What conditions will cause deviations from the published schedule?
  3. Is there buy-in from those who must work under the Fly Quiet Rotation Plan: airlines, tower, pilots, CDA?
  4. Is there a high likelihood of FAA approval of the ONCC-recommended proposal? FAA has the ultimate approval authority based on many criteria including safety.

Fly Quiet Runway Rotation Test 3 ends on October 14, 2017. The Fly Quiet program will revert to the original program once the test is completed. The Fly Quiet Committee is scheduled to meet on November 6 to review the results of Runway Rotation Test 3 and the survey results.

Once recommendations are finalized and voted upon by the full Commission, the Chicago Department of Aviation will present the plan to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

At a recent meeting in Elmhurst, FAA spokesperson Christina Drouet told residents that officials wanted to have the interim rotation plan in place for the decommissioning of a diagonal runway in spring 2018, but felt that date was not realistic.

The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) announced that it has secured permits and scheduled contractors to install permanent aircraft noise monitors at three suburban locations. Electrical installation and concrete work will begin on October 9, 2017 in Bensenville (Site 31), Itasca (Site 44) and Norridge (Site 18) with monitor installations to follow.

A CDA spokesperson told the O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission (ONCC) Technical Committee that once the city completed the monitor installation, Commonwealth Edison would activate the power source within a few weeks.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel ordered eight new monitors for the Airport Noise Management System (ANMS) within the O’Hare region to capture aircraft noise in 2014 after residents began complaining about new flight patterns over their houses.

There are five additional noise monitors scheduled for Chicago that are currently under review in the installation program. Site 42 located in Chicago was completed in June 2015.

New Monitor Progress

Long Term Portable Monitor

The ONCC Technical Committee met on September 26, 2017. Agenda items included:

  • CDA staff reported that installation of three suburban noise monitors located in Bensenville, Itasca and Norridge was nearly complete, and that the monitors were expected to be operational by late fall 2017.
  • There was a brief discussion regarding the progress of the city of Chicago’s 311 system that tallies noise complaints. CDA staff reported that the system is currently under review.
  • CDA consultants provided a presentation on aircraft arrival altitudes on the most used runways in both east flow and west flow configurations.
  • CDA consultants presented a draft of proposed modifications to the quarterly Fly Quiet Reports.

Meeting Materials:

New Monitor Progress

Long Term Portable Monitor

Glide Slope East Flow

Glide Slope West Flow

The ONCC Ad Hoc Fly Quiet Committee met on Thursday, September 21, 2017. 

The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) presented the final Fly Quiet Runway Rotation Test 2 Report, highlighting some of the changes that had been made based on feedback they received from members and consultants. CDA consultants provided supplemental data on Wide Body Operations on Runways Less Than 10,000 feet and Aircraft Fleet Mix Report for Operations on Non-Scheduled Runways, as per the request of Committee members at the previous Ad Hoc Fly Quiet Committee Meeting when the draft report was first presented.

The CDA made a change to the runway rotation for the evening of Sunday, September 10th.  September 10 was the beginning of Test 3 Week 8, and the CDA planned to utilize the 4-22s for rotation.  The CDA was not able to use the 4-22s on Sept. 10 due to additional FAA technical operations work on the Runway 4R localizer. For the overnight hours, departures were on 9R and arrivals either on 10L or 10C. The FAA has indicated its work on the 4R localizer should affect our runway rotation only Sunday, and that we should be back on the 4-22s for the remainder of the week.