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O'Hare Neighbors Lodged More Than A Half Million Noise Complaints This Year

 A United Airlines jet sits on the newest runway to open at O'Hare Airport.
A United Airlines jet sits on the newest runway to open at O'Hare Airport.
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DNAinfo/Heather Cherone

O'HARE — Complaints about jet noise from Chicago rose 44 percent in the first four months of 2016, as Northwest Side residents continued to protest the racket they say keeps them up at night and makes it impossible to enjoy their yards.

From January to April, Chicagoans logged approximately 537,000 complaints about noisy planes taking off or landing at O'Hare Airport as compared with approximately 371,000 complaints in the same time period last year, according to data released Friday by the O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission.

Heather Cherone on the latest report on complaints about O'Hare noise.

In April, 102,422 complaints were filed by Chicago residents with city officials, the records show. Approximately 18 percent of those complaints came from just three addresses, according to the commission.

The tally of complaints includes those logged through chicagonoisecomplaint.com, which was designed by Darrin Thomas, a member of the Fair Allocation in Runways Coalition, to allow upset residents to log their anger with one click, rather than fill out the city's long form.

The number of complaints from Chicagoans dropped 19 percent from March to April and the number of individuals who filed at least one complaint dropped 15 percent, according to the commission.

The total number of complaints from city and suburban addresses dropped 2 percent from March to April, according to the commission.

Approximately 42 percent of complaints from both the city and the suburbs were made from 12 addresses, according to the commission.

Complaints can be made by calling a 24-hour hotline — 800-435-9569 — or submitting an online form.

In Chicago, residents of the 41st Ward, which includes Norwood Park, Edgebrook and Edison Park, filed 40 percent fewer complaints in April than they did in March, according to the commission.

In October 2013, a new east-west runway opened as part of the $8.7 billion O'Hare Modernization Program, sending hundreds of flights over areas of the Northwest Side like North Park, Jefferson Park, Edgebrook, Edison Park and Norwood Park that previously heard little or no jet noise.

Flight patterns at O'Hare are designed to ensure the airport operates as efficiently and safely as possible, federal aviation officials said.

The newest east-west runway at O'Hare opened Oct. 15. The $516 million runway, on the south side of the airport at Berteau Avenue, will be used mostly for arrivals from the west, at least until 2021 when the airport expansion is expected to be completed.

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