New O’Hare runway rotation proposal splits suburbs over noise

A new three-month O’Hare noise rotation could take off in May. Inclusion of a diagonal runway pleases some Western suburbs, but not some in the Northwest suburbs.

A noise commission’s contentious approval of a three-month overnight runway rotation test at O’Hare International Airport Friday reflected clear divides among suburbs eager for noise relief and those fearful of sleepless nights.

If federal regulators agree with the O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission, the rotation trial intended to evenly distribute the din from jets at night could start in May.

Arlington Heights, Des Plaines, Hoffman Estates, Palatine, Rolling Meadows and Schaumburg opposed the test some said would bring more noise.

Among 36 supporters were Addison, Bensenville, Bloomingdale, Hanover Park, Itasca, Mount Prospect, Rosemont, South Barrington and Wood Dale.

The rotation will include diagonal Runway 15/33, possibly for the last time since it will be retired in spring 2018 to make way for a new runway coming in late 2020.

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