42 communities and 19 school districts dedicated to reducing aircraft noise in the communities around O’Hare International Airport since 1996.


ONCC Event 221026 D750 Final 3047

The O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission (ONCC) and the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) hosted a celebration today marking the 25th anniversary of the commission, an international model for hub airports to engage with their neighboring residents.

"I congratulate the O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission on 25 years of serving the communities surrounding our city's largest and busiest airport," said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. "This commission has served as a national model for other airports on how to be good neighbors to their communities and has helped relieve thousands of homes impacted by flight noise. The City looks forward to our continued, successful partnership with the ONCC."

Established in July 1996, the ONCC began with an invitation from the City of Chicago to suburban mayors to begin constructive discussions on aircraft noise issues. Its first meeting took place in January 1997. Successes from the ONCC’s first quarter-century of work include:

Grown to include 43 member communities and 19 school districts;
Oversaw sound insulation of more than 11,500 homes through the CDA O’Hare Residential Sound Insulation Program;
Oversaw wound Insulation of 124 schools through the CDA O’Hare School Sound Insulation Program; and
Developed and approved a new Fly Quiet Program for O’Hare, which will be submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration for review.

“My predecessor at the time of the ONCC’s founding, Mary Rose Loney, felt strongly that community leaders should have a seat at the policy table and that they are best suited to overseeing noise initiatives, since they are the ones impacted,” CDA Commissioner Jamie L. Rhee said. “I am excited to continue her commitment to this group, and our work as an industry leader in this cause, in the years ahead.”

The celebration was held in a hangar on O’Hare’s airfield with approximately 100 attendees, including members of the ONCC, as well as CDA staff and other local officials.

“ONCC has been recognized globally as the standard bearer for aircraft noise community groups that advocate for the reduction of aircraft noise impacts on students and families living near airports,” said ONCC Chairman Joseph J. Annunzio, representative for the Village of Niles. “This has been accomplished through consensus building and by working collaboratively and cooperatively with our partners.”

Founding chairman and former mayor of Arlington Heights Arlene Mulder was in attendance and was commended for her leadership in guiding the organization for many years, and for building a strong foundation for success. Two ONCC members, Northlake Mayor Jeffrey Sherwin and Dr. Ray Kuper of Union Ridge School District 86 in Harwood Heights, were also recognized for their service on the commission since its founding.

The ONCC’s most significant recent accomplishment this year was the redevelopment of O’Hare’s Fly Quiet Program, which was initially implemented in 1997 and made obsolete by the reconfiguration of O’Hare’s airfield under the O’Hare Modernization Program completed in 2021.

The proposed Fly Quiet Program features six runway configurations that alternate weeks from the north airfield to the south airfield and air traffic flow from east to west to balance nighttime noise impacts, avoid consecutive impacts, and offer predictability to communities located within the O’Hare region. It was developed over 150 public meetings spanning more than seven years.

Once the recommended Fly Quiet Program is approved by the FAA and implemented, the ONCC will work closely with the CDA, the FAA, and other stakeholders to ensure the program offers transparency and accountability.

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