The O’Hare Residential Sound Insulation Program (RSIP) is one of the nation’s largest and most aggressive programs of its kind in the United States.
The O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission, in cooperation with the Chicago Department of Aviation, oversees the RSIP program to improve the quality of life for residents living near one of the world’s busiest airports by reducing the impact of aircraft noise in homes.
Sound insulation work may include new attic insulation; acoustically rated exterior doors, storm doors and windows; or air conditioning to make life easier for residents to sleep, talk on the phone, watch television, listen to music, or simply have a conversation in their own homes.
The FAA’s Airport Improvement Program and the city of Chicago’s Passenger Facility Charges (PFCs) funds the RSIP program.
Today single-family and multi-unit dwellings are eligible for sound insulation, as determined in the Federal Aviation Administration’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) approved for the O’Hare Modernization Program in September 2005.
As early as 1982 the city of Chicago recognized O’Hare International Airport's potential growth and its effects on nearby residents by introducing sound insulation in Chicago area schools.
In 1995, the Chicago Department of Aviation sound insulated 10 homes as a demonstration project to showcase aircraft noise mitigation. A year later, then Mayor Richard M. Daley brought together Chicago neighborhood leaders and school district superintendents located near O’Hare to address their aircraft noise issues.
As a result, the group formed the O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission (ONCC) in December 1996 that is recognized by the city of Chicago as a policy-making, inter-governmental agency dedicated to reducing aircraft noise. ONCC is comprised of three standing committees—the Residential Sound Insulation Program, School Sound Insulation Program and Technical.
Today, prospective residences eligible for sound insulation fall within the FAA’s O’Hare Modernization Program (OMP) Full Build-Out Noise Contour. Noise monitor data does not determine eligibility for residential sound insulation.
Initially, sound insulation was installed in single owner-occupied homes. In February 2009, insulation work began on multi-unit homes—in particular, condominiums—to fulfill the FAA requirement that all eligible residences located within the OMP noise contour are considered for sound insulation.