Noisy Noise Complaints At ORD

Open Jaw

Somebody's making a lot of noise. And it's not just planes.

The Chicago Department of Aviation's Airport Noise Management System recently revealed that noise complaints near O-Hare International are at an all-time high – 39,000 in January alone.

That's a huge number. But there's a catch. An official report reveals that 63% of the 39,000 complaints in January came from just six addresses. Over 11,000 came from one address alone. That's roughly 360 complaints per day on average including weekends.

There are two official ways to submit a complaint -- by telephone and online. The online form has six required fields to submit a complaint and takes approximately 1 minute to complete. That would equal six hours of complaint filing per day assuming no breaks were taken.

As Chris Clarke writes on Flight Club: “I'm not sure how well it pays, but that seems like terrible full time employment. It can only be assumed that this is the work of a highly deranged individually or a repurposed spam bot."

Clarke continues: “The problem clearly isn't about airplane noise, but the fact that the online complaint system doesn't employ a Captcha or some other form of human detection system. The report from previous months have a very similar consistency, with the majority of complaints coming from the vocal minority."

Chicago's local ABC affiliate reports that residents have testified at a noise commission meeting over noise concerns. Some say they're battling insomnia and depression because of the noise and that the problems started after the new runway opened in 2013.

Airport noise has been the focus of heated debates for decades. As a result noise abatement procedures have been put in place for most urban airports that require pilots to use designated runways and flight tracks and sometimes specific climb gradients to keeps noise level away from populated areas.

(will not be published)