Since June 1997, O’Hare International and Midway airports agreed to use designated noise abatement flight procedures during the hours of 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. via a program called “Fly Quiet.” The Fly Quiet program is voluntary and aims to direct nighttime flights over less populated areas of forest preserves and Tollways/highways. Historically, this program has minimally impacted Glenview with less than 1 percent of nighttime flights transiting over Glenview.
The O’Hare Modernization Plan (OMP) was adopted in 2004 with a re-evaluation completed in 2015. The goal of the OMP was to transition the airfield to an east-west orientation to improve efficiency of the airport by allowing for multiple runways to operate simultaneously. Since the adoption of the OMP, O’Hare decommissioned two diagonal northwest/southeast runways. O’Hare is presently constructing a new runway to be called 9C/27C as well as extending an existing runway 9R/27L. The transition to the east-west runway orientation has increased the noise impact of communities to the east and west of the airfield. The adoption of the OMP was generally favorable for Glenview as it changed O’Hare Airport to a primary east-west flow which reduced the daytime flights over Glenview.
The O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission (ONCC) was established in 1996 as an intergovernmental agency dedicated to recommending actions for mitigating the impacts of air traffic originating and departing from O’Hare International Airport. The ONCC plays an important role in proposing noise abatement recommendations to Chicago’s Department of Aviation (CDA). Communities surrounding O’Hare can participate in the ONCC by entering into an Intergovernmental Agreement with the City of Chicago. Glenview became a member of the ONCC on March 16, 2018.
In response to the OMP construction and at the request of the ONCC, the Chicago Department of Aviation ran three Fly Quiet tests that shifted operations to specific runways during the nighttime hours:
Following the tests, the ONCC recommended the rotation patterns included in Test 3 be implemented through 2021 as part of the Interim Fly Quiet (IFQ) program. The CDA formerly requested Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval of this revised IFQ program in February 2018.
The comment period to the Federal Aviation Administration ended February 27, 2019.
In July 2019, the Federal Aviation Administration prepared the Final Written Re-Evaluation of the O'Hare Modernization Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Interim Fly Quiet Runway Rotation Plan (see details below). The FAA determined the environmental and other relevant concerns presented by interested agencies and citizens have been addressed in the Re-Evaluation. The FAA concluded that with respect to the O'Hare Modernization Program and the Proposed Interim Fly Quiet Runway Rotation Program, there are no outstanding environmental issues within the FAA's jurisdiction to be studied or National Environmental Policy Act requirements that have not been met.
Interim Fly Quiet Program recommendation
The program submitted by the CDA would feature eight runway patterns, each with a secondary landing pattern for opposite wind conditions. The program would involve rotation between east/west oriented runways and the diagonal, southwest/northeast runways every other week during the night-time hours. The diagonal runway 4L/22R aligns Glenview with one of the final approach fixes at the southwest border of the Village (see maps, right). The final approach fix requires that planes be at a specified altitude, approximately 1,500 feet, above this point to align with the runway for landing. If approved by the FAA, the rotation program would be in place and utilized from November 2019 to May 2020 and September 2020 to January 2021. As part of construction on the airfield, the 4L/22R runway would be closed for reconstruction from March 2019 to November 2019.
Glenview could receive nighttime aircraft noise impacts every other week with arrivals being the most significant impacts for two of the eight week patterns assuming the primary orientation is utilized. Adverse wind conditions could increase the impacts to Glenview. O’Hare has approximately 200 flights a night between the hours of 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.
On February 19, 2019, the Village Board of Trustees approved a resolution opposing the draft interim Fly Quiet (IFQ) plan, stating:
- Concern with the drastic percentage of increase of airline flights over Glenview comparing the O’Hare Modernization Plan (OMP) to the proposed IFQ plan. The IFQ Plan significantly impacts the Village, particularly during night-time hours.
- Minimal soundproofing be completed in the northeast quadrant of O’Hare. There is significant soundproofing completed to the east and west of O’Hare and these areas should be utilized for IFQ.
- A safety concern with limiting pilots to a two-hour window to request a longer runway as part of the IFQ procedures.
- Rotation patterns should be added to allow the north and south runways to run independently; these should be incorporated into IFQ
- An Environmental Impact Study (EIS) was not completed as part of the draft IFQ plan and should be completed to review all impacts as compared to the OMP.
- It endorses change to federal law to allow reasonable (midnight to 5 a.m.) flight curfews during night-time hours.
Read the Staff Report
Noise complaints about O'Hare flights can be submitted in two official ways:
- A toll-free noise hotline at (800) 435-9569 for suburban communities
- An online form to the City of Chicago's 311 system
Once submitted, the complaints are forwarded to the Chicago Department of Aviation for tracking purposes only and will be included as data in the Airport Noise Management System reports.