At today's general meeting of the O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission, members voted 36 to 10 to approve a 3-month Fly Quiet Runway Rotation Test. CDA staff stated that the rotation, once approved by ONCC members, would go on to the FAA for approval and would be expected to begin implementation in late April-early May.
Fly Quiet Runway Rotation Test 2 features 10 total configurations in a 12- week rotation. Five of the configurations are modified from the original test. Two of the configuration changes were based on FAA feedback, two based on ameliorating heavy runway use and one based on a desire to reduce the number of mixed-use/single runway configurations. All proposed configurations have been tentatively reviewed by FAA and have been determined as feasible to implement.
The goals of the original runway rotation test (which ran from July - December 2016) remain the same for the second test: provide near-term relief; reduce impacts 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 criteria for the new test, like the original, include: establishing a rotation plan; alternating east and west flow; avoiding consecutive community impacts; reducing the use of Runway 10L/28R; including Runway 15/33.
"I appreciate the work of the CDA to mitigate nighttime noise by developing this 12-week runway rotation schedule, which will balance the noise impact for O'Hare communities," said Arlene Juracek, ONCC Chair and mayor of Mount Prospect. "The work of the Ad Hoc Fly Quiet Committee is not over, as we will be asking them to consider future conditions that will give us more insight to develop models for the interim Fly Quiet period," Juracek said.
"I would like to remind everyone that the alternative to the runway rotation test is the original 1997 Fly Quiet program, which is what we are in right now" Juracek stated. "Our eventual goal is to develop a practical Interim Fly Quiet program that would be in effect from the time Runway 15/33 is closed until full buildout, which is anticipated to be in 2021," she said.
In the coming months, the Ad Hoc Fly Quiet Committee is expected to review and discuss a potential Test 3 rotation that would not include Runway 15/33, which is slated to be decommissioned in spring 2018.