Q: What impact does the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Record of Decision (ROD) relating to the O'Hare Modernization Program (OMP) have on the Residential Sound Insulation Program?
As directed by the FAA's Record of Decision issued September 30, 2005 for the O'Hare Modernization Program (OMP), the O'Hare Residential Sound Insulation Program will continue its aggressive noise mitigation effort by the city of Chicago, in partnership with the FAA, to focus on sound insulation of homes within the OMP Full Build-Out Noise Contour. This contour reflects anticipated impact from aircraft operations once all OMP construction phases are complete.
Q: Will the city of Chicago or ONCC use noise contours prepared before the 2005 Full Build-Out Noise Contour to make current residential sound insulation eligibility decisions?
No. The FAA has determined that airport noise contours based on actual operational levels shall only be used for no more than five (5) years for sound insulation purposes.
Q: Are there differences in the RSIP program before and after the FAA Record of Decision in 2005?
Initially, the city of Chicago and ONCC prioritized eligibility to include single family, owner-occupied homes.
The FAA's Record of Decision requires that both single and multi-family dwellings which fall within OMP Full Build-Out 65 DNL noise contour must be included by completion of the O'Hare Modernization Program Full Build-Out.
Under the early voluntary residential program, the Chicago Department of Aviation provided updated noise exposure contour maps based on actual operational levels at O'Hare International Airport and selected eligible homes on a year-to-year basis.
The FAA's Full Build-Out noise contour is based on noise levels anticipated once the O'Hare Modernization Program (OMP) construction phases are complete. The use of a future noise contour for sound insulation purposes is the usual practice of the FAA that is reflected in the Environmental Impact Statement for projects such as the OMP.
Q: How long will it take to complete all the sound insulation work?
ONCC will continue to actively oversee the O'Hare Residential Sound Insulation Program and will work with the Chicago Department of Aviation to determine construction and phasing schedules. As required by the FAA Record of Decision, all sound insulation for homes within the 65 DNL area of the Full Build-Out noise contour must be completed by the completion of the O'Hare Modernization Program. Projected completion of all identified homes is 2020.
Q: Which communities will get homes sound insulated first?
ONCC and the city of Chicago will determine the priority and phasing plan by using the defined eligibility area of the OMP Full Build-Out noise contour.
Q: How is the O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission involved with the O'Hare Residential Sound Insulation Program?
In 1996, the city of Chicago created the O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission (ONCC) to oversee aircraft noise mitigation efforts around O'Hare International Airport. Then Mayor Daley suggested the formation of the ONCC as a policy-making group to direct funding for noise reduction projects. As of September 2013, 9,924 homes around O'Hare have been sound insulated, which is double the original commitment by the city of Chicago.
The FAA, in its OMP Record of Decision, reinforced the ONCC's role in determining the policies for the future O'Hare Residential Sound Insulation Program.
Q: How can I get my home sound insulated?
The RSIP is not a program for which you sign up or place yourself on a list. The FAA has determined that the 65 DNL reflected in the OMP Full Build-Out noise contour will be used for all programs. The Chicago Department of Aviation provides a Property Locator where residents enter a specific street address to determine sound insulation eligibility.
Q: What is done to a home to insulate against aircraft noise?
Currently, homeowners are given option packages to choose from in order to significantly reduce the aircraft noise level experienced in the home. Homeowners will be responsible for selecting among the three construction packages that may include: window modifications, prime door treatments and storm door treatments; or air conditioning modifications (with or without duct work).
Q: Who pays for the program?
Historically, the Chicago Department of Aviation provided 100 percent of funding for the Residential Sound Insulation Program through Passenger Facility Charges (PFCs) assessed by airlines for each passenger departing or arriving at O'Hare International Airport. The FAA has provided Airport Improvement Program funding for homes sound insulated since 2005. Funds are committed for completion of all homes identified as eligible for sound insulation.