ELMHURST – The Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 Board of Education has joined the effort against airplane noise that has been deemed excessive by many Elmhurst residents and the City Council.
A resolution unanimously was approved by the board at its Sept. 12 meeting, with board member John McDonough abstaining because his law practice represents the city of Chicago on some ground-based forms of transportation.
The board appointed member Kara Caforio to serve as its representative on the O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission. The resolution authorizes the execution of an intergovernmental agreement between the school district and Chicago for that participation, officials said.
"My neighborhood is very upset, and I have been hearing complaints a lot. ... We, along with 17 other districts, can have a seat at the table to advocate for our kids and our community and so it seems like there is no reason for us not to participate, and so I have said that I would be willing to sit on the committee," Caforio said at the meeting.
Board President Shannon Ebner said in a statement the district is concerned about how the airplane noise could affect learning.
"We are particularly concerned about the potential of the inequitable flight allocations to interfere with student learning and achievement due to excessive disruptions of sleep and other family activities sustained over significant periods of time throughout the school year," she said.
The Fly Quiet Program is currently administering its third runway rotation plan test through Oct. 14, according to the city of Elmhurst. This test directly impacts specific areas in Elmhurst, with a 100-percent increase in nighttime airplane noise compared to the first two tests, officials said.
If the survey results for the third test show low community feedback, it is possible this runway rotation plan will be the Chicago Department of Aviation’s long-term plan for designated nighttime runway use, according to the city.
"The [O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission] Board consists mainly of municipalities and school districts that are in close proximity to O’Hare Airport," a city of Elmhurst statement reads. "To have a representative from both governing bodies can only help advocate that a fair, consistent Runway Rotation Plan be achieved. ... The City of Elmhurst commends District 205 for its decision to join ONCC and advocate alongside the City for the well being of the residents of Elmhurst."
To learn more about the third runway rotation test at O'Hare International Airport, visit airportprojects.net/flyquiettest/about. To voice opposition to increased airplane noise in Elmhurst, go to www.elmhurst.org/voiceconcern.