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O'Hare Noise

Since O’Hare became part of the 5th Congressional District in January 2013, my staff and I have become immersed in the issues surrounding the O’Hare Modernization Program (OMP) and O’Hare 21 capital investment project. We have met repeatedly with residents and neighborhood groups to hear their concerns regarding the impact of airplane noise on the communities surrounding the airport and convey those concerns to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the airlines. But there’s more left to do.  

The unprecedented noise pollution facing our local communities is a serious problem that warrants urgent action. The FAA’s failure to quickly and responsively address resident’s concerns and the agency’s lack of candor is completely unacceptable.   

We need to pursue both long- and short-term solutions to the problems facing residents near the airport, which is why I’ve urged the FAA to reevaluate the 65 DNL metric used to determine whether or not residents qualify for FAA assistance for noise mitigation insulation in their homes. In 2015, I was successful in getting FAA to undertake a study of the DNL level, but that study is now more than a year overdue and FAA refuses to adequately explain the reasons for the delay or when the study might be released.

I have also worked with the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) to expand the Fly Quiet runway rotation program. Fly Quiet is an effective short-term solution but as the construction of parallel runways at O’Hare continues, it can no longer be a viable option. Instead, FAA, the airport, the airlines, and the government at both the city and federal levels must work to incorporate noise considerations into every step of the airport and airspace planning and operation processes.

Additionally, I am a founding member and Vice-Chair of the Quiet Skies Caucus, which is composed of legislators from around the country who aim to raise awareness of aircraft noise and work to find meaningful solutions to the problem. Since coming to Congress, I have pressed successive FAA Commissioners on the lack of FAA’s responsiveness to these urgent concerns. Put simply, the FAA needs to do better. My constituents’ quality of life near O’Hare has suffered, and the FAA’s tepid response is troubling. There is more work to be done at all levels, and we will continue to encourage the FAA, Chicago Department of Aviation, and airlines to search for solutions that can provide relief to residents, who are losing both sleep and patience.

A robust O’Hare and a vibrant 5th District need not be mutually exclusive. We will continue to pursue every avenue that reduces noise without compromising safety.

More on O'Hare Noise

Jul 31, 2015 Press Release
“We applaud today’s announcement by the Department of Transportation for increased funds for our residents around O’Hare Airport,” said the members. “We have been calling for increased noise mitigation and are pleased that the federal government is taking steps to provide some relief. We will continue working with the CDA and FAA to help mitigate and distribute the noise while maintaining O’Hare as an economic engine in Chicago and Illinois.”
Jul 31, 2015 Press Release
“Today’s announcement by the CDA has been a long time coming, as our constituents around O’Hare Airport have been dealing with increased noise issues since the east-west flow was implemented nearly two years ago. We have been calling for many of the noise mitigation techniques that CDA announced today including implementing a new Fly Quiet plan for more even distribution of flight paths, changes to the 311 complaint system, and a plan for increased community engagement by CDA."
Jul 30, 2015 Press Release
U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), a leader of the Quiet Skies Caucus, along with Reps. Tammy Duckworth (IL-08) and Jan Schakowsky (IL-09) sent a letter to Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) Commissioner Ginger Evans urging the CDA to work with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission (ONCC) to begin exploring practical and immediate options to redistribute flights on all available runways at O’Hare Airport, providing noise relief for the surrounding communities without compromising safety.
May 15, 2015 Press Release
U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05) secured language in the FY16 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) funding bill, which passed the House Appropriations Committee this week, mandating the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) develop short and long-term measures to mitigate excessive airplane noise experienced by local communities around O’Hare International Airport.
May 5, 2015 In the News
"If they close the diagonals, that's the end of the argument," said U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley, a Chicago Democrat whose district includes suburbs near the airport. Quigley argued people did not get enough information about noise when the O'Hare modernization plan was first discussed years ago.