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Public Hearings Announced for New O'Hare Runway Plan

By Jim Bochnowski in News on Jul 9, 2015 2:30PM

The Federal Aviation Administration has announced four public meetings in August for Chicagoans to air any grievances over the new planned runway for O'Hare International Airport.

Originally announced in April, the four meetings will be held in communities surrounding O'Hare prior to the opening of a new runway on Oct. 15. According to the Chicago Tribune, the meetings will be held:

  • Aug. 10 at White Eagle Banquets, 6839 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Niles
  • Aug. 11 at Taft High School, 6530 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. in Chicago
  • Aug. 12 at Monty's Elegant Banquets, 703 S. York Road in Bensenville
  • Aug. 13 at Belvedere Events and Banquets, 1170 W. Devon Ave. in Elk Grove Village

The meetings will feature FAA officials, as well as paid consultants, and will allow citizens to provide official, on-the-record comments about the plan to open up the new runway. This year O'Hare has received more noise complaints than ever before, so these meetings will undoubtedly be contentious.

In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, new Airport Commissioner Ginger Evans stressed her desire to open up a sixth runway at O'Hare by 2020. While construction has not yet started on this expansion, the FAA will also provide information on this project.

O'Hare changed its takeoff and landing procedures in 2013, as part of an effort to reduce the possibility of mid-air collisions at the airport, the according to the Tribune. With those changes came plenty of new concerns, however, as noise complaints in the communities directly east of the airport began to rise dramatically.

In the same interview, Evans also said that the problem is not likely to go away.

"People 10 miles away from the airport, I can tell you right now today that there probably is not much I can do for them," she said.