The O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission (ONCC) Ad Hoc Fly Quiet Committee voted today to recommend an Interim Fly Quiet plan to the full O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission membership.
Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) consultants presented three runway rotation options to the Committee, which ultimately chose Option A, essentially the same runway rotation plan that was followed in Fly Quiet Runway Rotation Test 3.
“I am proud of the work the Committee has done in reaching this decision,” said Committee Chair Joe Annunzio, representing the Village of Niles. “The ONCC has to take a regional approach. It is important that we take into account all who are impacted by the noise and try to find the best solution possible. It’s not going to be perfect, but I feel that this plan meets the goals outlined in the Fly Quiet Runway Rotation Plan Goals and Guidelines – to provide near-term relief, to reduce impacts to the highest impacted communities, and to provide predictability to the extent possible.”
One of the strategic guidelines outlined in all three of the Fly Quiet Runway Rotation Test Goals and Guidelines was to avoid consecutive community impacts. A motion was made during the meeting to remove the consecutive impact consideration, but this was unanimously voted against.
This meant the only remaining option was Option A, as the other options would have resulted in consecutive community impacts. Option A features an eight-week rotation plan with six configurations arranged to alternate each week between parallel and diagonal runways, and also rotating east flow and west flow.
Option B included two parallel runway configurations and one diagonal configuration from Option A, but also incorporated a hybrid model with one parallel and one diagonal runway in each configuration.
Option C was a six-week rotation plan with two parallel configurations and one diagonal configuration.
CDA staff noted that any rotation plan would be impacted by construction scheduled to take place on the diagonal 4/22 Runways. Pavement rehabilitation on Runway 4L-22R will take place in 2019, with pavement rehabilitation on Runway 4R-22L planned for 2020.
In addition to Options A, B and C presented by the CDA, the City of Elmhurst presented an additional alternative. The Elmhurst option was similar to Option C that the CDA presented, featuring a six-week rotation plan with two parallel and one diagonal configuration.
The Suburban O’Hare Commission (SOC) provided a report to the committee with analysis of Runway Rotation Tests 2 and 3 and recommendations for the Interim Fly Quiet Plan.
SOC recommended Option A as SOC’s preferred option because it believed Options A achieved the most equitable balance possible until longer runways are commissioned. It stated that Options B, C and the Elmhurst option all shift more operations onto the parallel runways than existed prior to the rotation and therefore defeat the purpose of rotating runways.
City of Chicago Alderman John Arena (45th Ward) voiced his support of Option A, stating: “It has been an honor to sit on this Committee. I have worked together with suburban leaders and had several conversations. Every community benefits from the airport. I believe this is a good approach and will vote on it in the interest of consensus,” Arena said.
“I would love for the rotation to be 50/50,” said Evan Summers, Village Manager of Bensenville. “But I am willing to accept Option A. I think we are heading in the right direction. I am proud to have been a part of this process.”
Alderman Malcolm Chester of Des Plaines was the sole “No” vote on the Committee for the Interim Fly Quiet Plan. “I appreciate the attempt to balance the impact of noise,” Chester stated, but added that he was unable to support the plan due to the effect it would have on his constituents.
ONCC Chair Arlene Juracek stated she was pleased with the outcome of the meeting. “As I have expressed previously, the ONCC best serves all members if we adopt a regional approach. Considering all of the factors, I believe adopting an Interim Fly Quiet Plan is the best course of action. I feel this option represents an equitable balance of impacts to communities surrounding O’Hare.”
The proposal now moves to the full ONCC membership at a special meeting on December 8 at 8:00 am at Café la Cave, 2777 S. Mannheim Road, Des Plaines, IL.
If approved by the full ONCC, the CDA and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will begin environmental analysis. The FAA review process will include a public participation process.
Follow the link below to view materials from the meeting.