In the News: Learning From Night Rotations, O’Hare Noise

Journal & Topics Newspaper


While the Fly Quiet program continues to be on track for O’Hare Airport, the test rotation schedule for night time traffic is about to go away for a bit.

The current three-month test, known as Test 3, started in mid-July, immediately after the conclusion of a three-month Test 2 (April to July). Test 3 will end in mid-October.

Unless a more permanent rotation plan is introduced later, predictability is what will be missing.

Between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., the airport designates one arrival runway and one for departures. Normally, there is no public warning which runways will carry the traffic over which communities.

An ad hoc committee of the O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission and the Chicago Dept. of Aviation were given unprecedented opportunities more than a year ago to suggest to the Federal Aviation Administration ways to rotate the overnight traffic so communities under the flight tracks could have predictable, quieter weeks to sleep.

While relief has occurred, especially in Test 1, from July to December 2016, the elephant in the room is the guaranteed decommissioning of Runway 15-33 (northwest and southeast) next spring.

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