Quigley Pushes for O’Hare Noise Relief in THUD Appropriations Bill
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD), secured language in the Fiscal Year 2017 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill that requires the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to identify short and long-term noise mitigation measures at O’Hare, as well as requires the FAA to reevaluate its criteria for sound insulation and provide airports with more flexibility on awarding insulation including second round insulation.
Rep. Quigley also offered an amendment to the bill that would keep O’Hare International Airport from using funds to deconstruct and decommission the airport’s two diagonal runways currently scheduled for demolition as part of O’Hare’s Modernization Project (OMP) until the FAA and the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA), in consultation with surrounding communities, agree on a plan for a more even distribution of day and night time air traffic at the airport. The amendment did not pass.
“My constituents back home in Chicago are facing unprecedented noise pollution that is eroding their quality of life, lowering their property values, and impacting their health. I’ve been working hard to explore solutions to mitigate noise for the sake of public health at the local level, as well as at the national level with my colleagues in the Quiet Skies Caucus, and through my role on the House Appropriations Committee,” said Rep. Quigley. “I’m pleased that language was included in the fiscal year 2017 bill requiring the FAA indentify short and long-term noise mitigation measures, and reevaluate its criteria for sound insulation. However, I’m disappointed that my amendment to keep funding from decommissioning O’Hare’s diagonal runways was not included. With noise complaints exceeding four million in 2015, we know all too well the harmful impact the new traffic patterns have had on the comfort and well-being of hundreds of thousands of homeowners. Given O’Hare’s lack of improvement in performance despite billions spent on new runways and a new east-west traffic pattern, it’s hard to argue that retaining the diagonal runways will adversely affect O’Hare’s efficiency.”
Rep. Quigley (right) addresses Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (left, standing) about his O’Hare amendment in committee. To watch, click here.
O’Hare International Airport became a part of Illinois’ Fifth Congressional District in January 2013. Since then, Rep. Quigley has met continuously with neighborhood organizations and aviation officials to discuss solutions to increased noise pollution resulting from the O’Hare Modernization Program (OMP). O’Hare International Airport became a part of Illinois’ Fifth Congressional District in January 2013. Since then, Rep. Quigley has met continuously with neighborhood organizations and aviation officials to discuss solutions to increased noise pollution resulting from the O’Hare Modernization Program (OMP). In April, Rep. Quigley and the Quiet Skies Caucus introduced the Airplane Impacts Mitigation (AIM) Act, which will examine the health impacts of airplane overflights on local communities.
In a recent Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, Rep. Quigley pressured Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta to commit to taking actions to protect residents and their property around O'Hare International Airport from aircraft noise. Rep. Quigley and other Illinois representatives released a statement in response to the Chicago Department of Aviation’s (CDA) plans to mitigate O’Hare noise after a previous letter was sent to the organization pushing them to address practical solutions to noise complaints. Rep. Quigley joined other members of the Quiet Skies Caucus in a letter to House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee with recommendations for the FAA 2015 Reauthorization Act that would help address the harmful impacts of aircraft noise on communities across the country. Last May, he secured language in the FY16 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) funding bill mandating the FAA develop short and long-term measures to mitigate excessive airplane noise experienced by local communities around O’Hare International Airport. In Congress, Rep. Quigley helped create the Quiet Skies Caucus and introduced the Silent Skies Act to help combat aircraft noise on a national level.