Is the airplane noise getting to you? Are you awakened at 4:30 a.m. as the first planes of the morning begin to descend on their approach to O’Hare? Do you know how the recent O’Hare expansion has impacted some areas of West Ridge?
Jac Charlier of FAiR (Fair Allocation in Runways) will be addressing these and many other issues relating to airplane noise in a community meeting set for Saturday, April 25, at the Northtown Library. Jac recently helped organize and lead the FAiR protest demonstration at the final mayoral debate between Rahm Emanuel and Jesus “Chuy” Garcia. Chuy had pledged support for the group in February.
At the debate the mayor announced that the City of Chicago would consider keeping certain diagonal runways open to lessen the number of flights over city neighborhoods that have borne the brunt of the noise created by the new runways. As reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, the five city wards most affected by the noise are home to more than 100,000 voters. FAiR is working with State legislators to change state law to allow the runways to remain open. Currently, state law limits the number of runways under City jurisdiction to eight, and a state certificate is required to increase that number.
West Ridge is impacted less than neighborhoods just south of us, but the increased noise is undeniable. I attended the demonstration, and the jet noise at times made conversation impossible. It does at my home, too, with as many as three planes almost directly overhead at times. When a plane is approaching my TV signal disappears. One Sunday in March I tracked nine planes in 30 minutes in the predawn hours. The first plane rumbled overhead this morning (April 6) at 4:30 a.m.
FAiR has worked with suburban mayors and local officials whose communities have also been severely impacted by the changes at O’Hare. It has created a coalition of concerned citizens from both the City and the suburbs who are demanding that City, State, and airline officials work with the communities negatively affected by runway changes at O’Hare. It’s one thing to buy a home near the airport. It’s another to have the airport brought to your door years later.
Please read the following information from FAiR. This citizen group has had amazing success on this issue, further proof that organizing neighbors around issues central to the common good is an effective way to create and strengthen community.
This event is sponsored by POWR (People of West Ridge), a new nonprofit community organization. Our Web site is under construction. For more information, contact me via e-mail (Ladymurphy1@yahoo.com.) or this blog.