Winger O’Hare noise legislation clears first hurdle

SPRINGFIELD – Representative Christine Winger (R—Wood Dale) passed legislation out of committee today which is the first step in obtaining data necessary to implement noise reduction processes at O’Hare Airport, a measure that would finally bring some relief to area residents.

Winger testified in the House Committee on Transportation that HB 3251 requires the State of Illinois to collect airport noise complaints. The complaint data will be used by the experts hired by the Suburban O’Hare Commission (SOC) in their analysis and in making recommendations for improvement to airport operations and processes.

“SOC has been waiting nine years for the City of Chicago to turn over data they have been collecting and previously promised to share,’ explained Winger. “We can’t and won’t wait any longer.”

Wood Dale Alderman Art Woods also provided testimony explaining the importance of obtaining timely and scientifically collected data to help improve the quality of life for more than one million residents living in the shadow of O’Hare Airport.

“Officials who have never been to my neighborhood have told me there is no adverse noise in the area, so there is no need for monitoring,” explained Woods. “Accurately collecting complaint data will prove to officials that there is a need for relief.”

Woods likened the deafening roar of aircraft taking off and landing to “missiles launching over your home every few minutes. As you can imagine it is extremely detrimental to the quality of life of families living in the shadow of O’Hare airport.”

Rep. Winger is chief co-sponsor of HB 1340 that also passed out of committee today. HB 1340 would make it possible for homeowners affected by adverse airport noise, who reside in areas impacted by new runways, to qualify for Federal assistance to soundproof their homes.

Both bills are now headed to the House floor for debate by the entire body.

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