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Napolitano Asks Residents Fed Up With Jet Noise To Lobby City Council

 A plan soars over the Northwest Side.
A plan soars over the Northwest Side.
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DNAinfo/Heather Cherone

O'HARE — Ald. Anthony Napolitano (41st) Wednesday asked Far Northwest Side residents angry about jet noise to flood his colleagues with messages urging them to support a measure that would halt the expansion of O'Hare Airport.

In a message to residents of the 41st Ward, which includes Norwood Park, Edison Park, Edgebrook and the airport, Napolitano said closed-door meetings were taking place at City Hall this week that will determine the fate of his ordinance that would reopen the diagonal runway at O'Hare closed last year.

Napolitano asked residents to email the 17 members of the Chicago City Council Aviation Committee and urge them to send the ordinance to the full City Council at its next meeting set for March 16.

The measure has not yet been scheduled for a hearing before the aviation committee, although Napolitano said he has been assured that it will be considered.

The measure echoes demands made by members of the Fair Allocation in Runways Coalition, who want city officials to reopen the diagonal runway on the east side of the airport, contending it is the only way to reduce jet noise over the Northwest Side.

But city officials contend the diagonal runways — built in the 1950s — are "fatally flawed" and pose a safety threat to airline passengers.

The diagonal runway on the east side of the airport was closed in August, and the one on the west side of the airport is scheduled to be closed in 2019 before the final east-west runway is built.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been a steadfast supporter of the airport expansion, which he has repeatedly said is needed to ensure that Chicago continues to attract the business travelers and vacationers — along with their fat wallets — that drive the city’s economy.

After Napolitano introduced his ordinance, Emanuel announced a deal to build a sixth east-west runway at O'Hare and complete the expansion of the airfield.

The members of the aviation committee are: John Arena; Howard Brookins; Ed Burke; George Cardenas; Willie Cochran; Derrick Curtis; Pat Dowell; Ray Lopez; Roberto Maldonado; Emma Mitts; Patrick O'Connor; Ameya Pawar; Marty Quinn; Ariel Reyboras; Daniel Solis; Gilbert Villegas and Michael Zalewski.

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