Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Sunday a nearly $1.3 billion infrastructure plan for O'Hare International Airport. Joining Emanuel at the press conference were U.S. Senators Durbin and Kirk, representatives from United and American Airlines, and the Federal Aviation Administration. The plan includes a new runway (Runway 9C/27C, scheduled to be commissioned in 2020), deicing pads and other projects. It is the final piece of the O’Hare Modernization Program, which reconfigures the older airfield into what the city says will be a more efficient runway, terminal, and roadway system. 

 

The O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission (ONCC), while historically maintaining a neutral position on the airport’s modernization plan, recognizes that at this stage of O’Hare’s redevelopment, completing the OMP is important to achieving optimum long-term resolution to a final noise mitigation program for the airport’s surrounding neighbors. 

“Individually our members are free to express their endorsement or opposition for the further modernization of O’Hare,” said ONCC Chair Arlene A. Juracek.  “However, this commission recognizes that the FAA cannot take action on certain improvements such as NextGen and Performance Based Navigation until the runways at ORD are set. These Next Gen procedures are complex and approval will take time, hence certainty as to final layout is critical. ONCC will continue to work towards shorter-term procedural solutions, such the development and implementation of an interim Fly Quiet Manual. The key to successful and expeditious development of these noise abatement procedures will be collaboration with all parties and regulators involved. ONCC remains committed to our mission to work for and improve the quality of life for all residents affected by aircraft noise.” 

“We appreciate Commissioner Ginger S. Evans’ acknowledgement of ONCC and the Suburban O’Hare Commission’s efforts to work collaboratively to ‘maximize the benefits of the airport’s proposed operational changes’ for the 2.1 million residents we serve,” Juracek said.