May 8, 2015

Mayor Emanuel Announces National Study On Airport Noise To Be Expedited

Study Results Could Qualify Thousands of Chicagoans for Subsidized Soundproofing

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced the FAA will expedite a key study to review the existing national metric for measuring noise near airports. The expedited national study will benefit residents in Chicago, as the findings could result in more people qualifying for the O’Hare Residential Sound Insulation Program.

“This is a major step forward that can benefit thousands of residents struggling with jet noise, while also maintaining a driver of Chicago’s economy,” said Mayor Emanuel. “While we have made important investments in soundproofing homes near O’Hare over the past four years, this study has the potential to expand that opportunity to more homeowners in more Chicago neighborhoods. I want to thank Michael Huerta and the FAA for their commitment to studying this important issue, and for being great partners as we work together to address the concerns of Chicago residents.”

Expediting the study, which will review the national Day-Night Average Sound Level 65 decibel metric, has been a priority for Mayor Emanuel as it would drive a better understanding of the extent and magnitude of the problem facing residents who live near O’Hare. The Mayor wrote FAA Administrator Michael Huerta a letter asking for the study to be expedited last July, met face-to-face with the Administrator to discuss the study as recently as two weeks ago, and has discussed the study’s importance to Chicago residents with other key administration officials.

Under Mayor Emanuel, the city has taken a number of steps to address the issue of jet noise near O’Hare. Two weeks ago, following a meeting with Administrator Huerta in Washington, DC, the Mayor announced the FAA agreed to increase the number of public meetings to be held prior to the opening of a new O’Hare runway in October from two meetings to four. Additionally, the City will spend approximately $120 million insulating 4,700 residences over the next 3-5 years, in addition to spending nearly $700 million in the communities neighboring both airports. More noise monitors will also be added, allowing the City to take better data to the FAA to address this issue.