Message from FAIR

The message below was received from FAIR. (Fair Allocation in Runways). It outlines an action plan designed to give citizens a voice in the mayor’s plan for a sixth runway at O’Hare.
As many of you have learned this weekend,  Mayor Emanuel has reached a deal to build the 6th runway at O’Hare. Instead of addressing the current noise and pollution crisis, a deal was made that would result in more devastating effects, worsening the situation by bringing more noise and pollution to those areas already hit hard.  This crisis and our voices are being ignored by the Mayor who expects us to just live with this as the new normal.What can we do?
Is this new runway a done deal?
The answer is no.   IT IS NOT!

There is still a big chunk of federal money that needs to be added to the pot in order for this to go through. That is where our Congressional Representatives come in.
Call and email your Representative TODAY!  Let them know that the OMP, which has devastated the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of people living under the flight paths, will only sacrifice more neighborhoods and the health and well-being of more citizens with this new runway. Tell them that if they truly stand with FAiR – the ACTUAL voice of the people – then they must boldly oppose this new runway and block the funding.  Their offices need to be flooded with phone calls and emails. 
This action needs to happen NOW…this week…today. We await a public statement from these elected officials who are accountable to us, the constituents.
Cong. Mike Quigley  (202) 225-4061 or (773) 267-5926
Cong. Jan Schakowsky – 202-225-2111 or (847) 328-3409
Cong. Tammy Duckworth –  202-225-3711 or (847) 413-1959
Attached is today’s press release with FAiR’s response to the announcement of the proposed deal for the 6th runway.
Thank you for your immediate action!
FAiR Leadership Team

Update: Rahm Gets His (Run) Way

As you know, on Wednesday Mayor Emanuel told the leaders of FAIR (Fair Allocation in Runways) and the citizens it represents that he would “probably not” support their efforts to preserve the diagonal runways to help control noise and air pollution over north and northwest side neighborhoods heavily impacted by his expansion of O’Hare Airport.

Now Greg Hinz of Crain’s reports that the City, American Airlines, and United Airlines have reached a $1.3 billion deal to build a new east-west runway, a de-icing center, and a cross-field taxiway. Rahm also got the FAA to add another $60 million to the $285 million it previously earmarked for the plan.

No wonder citizen input ain’t worth a damn.


FAIR-Emanuel Meeting: What Now?

Representatives of Fair Allocation in Runways (FAIR) met with Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday, January 27, only to have the Mayor tell them that he would “probably not” respond to noise and pollution complaints as the group had hoped. In other words, he is going to allow the demolition of the two remaining east-west diagonal runways to proceed.

Despite nearly three years of citizen complaints about noise and jet fuel pollution over north and northwest side City neighborhoods, the Mayor has chosen to continue the expansion of O’Hare Airport. The City is funding a new runway and the building of a road to make the airport more accessible.

Under current law, the City’s Commissioner of Aviation, Ginger Evans, needs only a go-ahead from the Mayor to implement plans that have had a devastating impact on City and suburban residents.

However, Ald. Anthony Napolitano (41) has introduced an ordinance that would require City Council approval before the demolition could take place; not surprisingly, it has little support in the Council so far.

Residents of Phoenix faced a similar impasse last year, when flight paths were changed without notice and produced mind-numbing noise. Despite protests by citizens to their Congressional representatives, no headway was made (see report from Rep. Ruben Gallego) until November of 2015, when the U.S. Senate approved an amendment to the HUD Appropriations Bill sponsored by Arizona Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake that requires the FAA to engage with local citizens before such flight path changes are made in the future. The amendment applies throughout the country.

FAIR’s petition to the Governor, the Mayor, and other city, state, and federal officials can be signed via its Web site. Deadline for signatures is February 28, 2016.


UPDATE: FAIR (Fair Allocation in Runways)

Representatives of FAIR met with Mayor Emmanuel this morning to discuss the FAIR Coalition’s demand that the City respond to citizen complaints about noise and air pollution in Chicago’s north and northwest side neighborhoods and nearby suburbs caused by new runway construction and runway allocation at O’Hare Airport.

FAIR has been organizing citizens for nearly three years, and has been asking the Mayor to meet with coalition representatives for almost as long. After submitting 23 meeting requests, the politically-wounded Mayor finally agreed to discuss FAIR’s concerns in a meeting scheduled for this morning. FAIR’s leaders have pointed out that O’Hare is run by the City and the Mayor is the final decision-maker when it comes to runway construction and demolition.

The issue of the diagonal runways remains on the table. The Mayor recently announced that the City will finance a new runway (9C – 27C) that will increase flyovers on the north side in the areas between Runways 9L – 27R (Pratt) and 9R – 27L (Thorndale).  See map.

POWR (People of West Ridge) is a proud FAIR Coalition member.


FAiR: Fighting Airplane Noise

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 ( or this blog.

What is FAiR
FAiR Coalition Policy Statement Fall 2013
FAiR Coalition Accomplishments
FAiR New Runway Primer