U.S. reps seek separate hotline for airplane noise complaints

SHARE U.S. reps seek separate hotline for airplane noise complaints
SHARE U.S. reps seek separate hotline for airplane noise complaints

Three U.S. representatives from Illinois are calling on the Chicago Department of Aviation to open a separate complaint line for people who live near O’Hare Airport to voice their frustrations over airplane noise.

On Monday, Democratic Reps. Mike Quigley, Tammy Duckworth and Jan Schakowsky sent a letter to Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino requesting that a separate noise complaint hotline be set up immediately, according to a statement from Quigley’s office.

Residents of the three districts have “consistently complained that the CDA is not taking adequate steps to record and respond” to complaints of excessive airplane noise, the statement said.

The hotline issue emerged after city aviation officials rolled out new numbers showing monthly complaints about airplane noise had soared between September 2013 — the last full month before new flight paths debuted — and July 2014.

During that time, complaints jumped from about 2,100 to nearly 28,000. Chicago Department of Aviation data noted that 41 percent of the July complaints came from nine addresses.

Monthly noise complaints have risen almost steadily since O’Hare switched in October 2013 from using criss-crossing runways to using parallel ones that send the vast majority of air traffic over areas directly east and west of the nation’s second-busiest airport.

“Our constituents in Chicago have told us repeatedly that their calls are often dropped or not answered in a reasonable time,” the representatives’ letter read. “It’s no wonder that many of our constituents feel that the very system put in place to record their concerns is simply ignoring them instead.”

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