Complaints on a citizen website about O’Hare International Airport jet noise since Feb. 1 topped the 1 million mark Friday, fueling a nearly nine-fold increase in official city tallies.
Beefs about jet noise since Feb. 1 hit 1,003,410 Friday morning on the chicagonoisecomplaint.com website.
Website developer Darrin Thomas, a member of the Fair Allocation in Runways citizen coalition, has said only about 0.2 percent of complaints to his site have been about Midway Airport jet noise.
That would bring the O’Hare complaints to well over 1 million since Feb. 1.
The citizen website automatically forwards all complaints to the city’s jet noise complaint website. As a result, city tallies released Friday for the month of March soared to 352,846.
That’s a nearly nine-fold increase from the 39,500 total in January, the last month before chicagonoisecomplaint.com launched to the public.
The city’s March noise report noted that 37 percent of March complaints came from eight addresses. Residents have charged that it is the persistent onslaught of noise that makes the O’Hare jet noise particularly aggravating.
O’Hare jet noise has gained increasing attention since a new runway configuration debuted in October 2013 that has brought 70 percent of arrivals into O’Hare from the east and over Chicago, while sending departing jets out to the west, heavily over Wood Dale and Itasca.
In March, the most jet noise complaints to the city’s official site occurred in Wood Dale, with 35,537 beefs; then Chicago’s 41st Ward, with 35,278 complaints; and then the 39th Ward, with 33,019.
Chicagoans in particular have complained they were blindsided by the new blitz of planes over their homes. Some fear their property values are tumbling as a result.
The O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission released the new figures Friday morning as it prepared its first informational meeting, under new chairwoman Arlene Juracek, on jet noise issues.
Friday’s topic is O’Hare’s voluntary “Fly Quiet” program, which encourages pilots to take night flight paths over non-residential areas.