CHICAGO (CBS) — Activists upset with the increased jet noise from the new runway configuration at O’Hare International Airport have said they believe the city and the FAA conspired to hide the impact of new flight patterns on homes and businesses along airport flight paths.
WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports there has been a steadily growing chorus of complaints about jet noise since the opening of a new east-west runway in October 2013, sending hundreds of flights a day over a narrow corridor.
Figures the FAA provided in 2005 regarding the percentage of flights O’Hare runways would carry after the $8 billion airport expansion project was completed were incorrect, and significantly underestimated the impact of runway traffic.
Those figures were quietly changed months after the FAA held three public hearings were held to gather public comment on the expansion plan.
Jac Charlier, who heads the Fair Allocation in Runways Coalition (FAiR), said he believes the FAA and the city of Chicago – which runs O’Hare – conspired to keep the noise impact of the expansion project quiet.
“Absolutely. The FAiR Coalition absolutely states that this was strategic, and the plan was to minimize the number of people who would know about this,” he said.