A successful 10-home pilot program to reduce aircraft noise with sound insulation initiated by the city of Chicago in 1995 was the forerunner to the expansive O’Hare Residential Sound Insulation Program (RSIP) that will continue to the O’Hare Modernization Program Full Build-Out expected in December 2020. Through September 2013, over 10,000 residences have been sound insulated in the RSIP program.
In early years of the program, homes neighboring O’Hare International Airport were deemed eligible for sound insulation based on noise contours developed by independent consultants for the Chicago Department of Aviation. Sound insulation was funded by the city of Chicago.
In September 2005, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that identified a noise contour based on a 65 Day/Night Average Sound Level (DNL). The contour, known as the O’Hare Modernization Program Full Build-Out Noise Contour, is the basis for selecting homes eligible for sound insulation. Noise monitor data does not determine eligibility for residential sound insulation.
Is Your Home Eligible for Sound Insulation?
Locate your home in relation to the current O’Hare noise contour by entering your specific street address on the Chicago Department of Aviation’s interactive Property Locator. It’s quick and easy to check whether a home is eligible for sound insulation via the locator map that allows you to zoom in on individual properties.
If you have questions about your home’s eligibility, call the Chicago Department of Aviation, 773-894-3255.
Next Steps If Your Home is Eligible for Sound Insulation
1—Eligible homes are identified by the Chicago Department of Aviation to receive sound insulation on a yearly basis. The ONCC passes a formal each year that lists the number of homes and communities that will receive sound insulation within a particular Phase.
2—If your home is eligible for sound insulation and falls within a Phase of construction, you will receive a letter from the Chicago Department of Aviation inviting you to an information briefing. You will be asked if you are interested in participating in the program as funds become available. Included with the letter will be a Homeowner’s Handbook that describes the Residential Sound Insulation Program in detail.
3—Actual sound insulation work is managed by Cotter Consulting, Inc. The company provides program and construction management services for the RSIP. The Cotter Program Office will schedule the first home inventory appointment and a second field measurement appointment for each home.
Local municipalities and elected officials, the Chicago Department of Aviation and the FAA do not have information specific to individual homeowner questions.
For accurate information about appointment scheduling or construction questions, please call Cotter Consulting, 773-894-3636.
HOMEOWNERS BEWARE: Program participants are never asked for money or credit card numbers and are never given anything to sign that includes a dollar amount. All appointments are scheduled by the Cotter Program Management Office.
All persons working for the RSIP program are required to wear a purple and white photo ID badge issued by the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA). If you encounter anyone you suspect is not a CDA official or its representative, please contact the Cotter Program Office immediately at 773-894-3636.
If Your Home is Not Eligible for the Residential Sound Insulation Program
If your home does not qualify for the RSIP program, but you want to improve the sound insulation in your home, ONCC and the Chicago Department of Aviation offer a 36-page Sound Insulating Your Home Handbook. The how-to booklet explains in detail ways to effectively sound insulate your home.
RSIP Program Endorsement
In an ONCC survey of homeowners who participated in the Residential Sound Insulation Program, 94 percent of the respondents reported an improved or greatly improved quality of living inside their homes after the sound insulation work was completed. Ninety-eight percent of the respondents said they would recommend the RSIP to their eligible neighbors.