ELMHURST – About 50 Elmhurst community members attended a public meeting on the Fly Quiet Runway Rotation Program hosted Oct. 3 by the city of Elmhurst and the Federal Aviation Administration at Elmhurst City Hall.
Christina Drouet, deputy regional administrator for the administration's Great Lakes Region, presented on the Fly Quiet program and the O'Hare Modernization Plan and took written questions from audience members that were consolidated by city staff, aldermen and Mayor Steve Morley.
Drouet presented on the history of the 20-year Fly Quiet program, which was established to minimize, as much as possible, the noise impacting nearby communities.
"The FAA looks to the [O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission] as a model around the country for what community involvement and community activity with respect to moderating noise from an airport can be," Drouet said.
Morley asked questions on behalf of residents, including about the future of the 4R-22L runway, which directly impacts Elmhurst residents with noise.
Drouet said the 4R-22L runway use is not going away since the runway needs to be available in bad weather conditions. However, from her understanding, after Fly Quiet Rotation 3 ends, it would go back to the original Fly Quiet plan, and there could be an interim plan a year or a year and a half from now.
"It could be sooner," Drouet said.
Test 3 affects specific areas in Elmhurst, with a 100-percent increase in scheduled nighttime air traffic compared to tests 1 and 2, city officials said.
Elmhurst residents and leaders have long spoken against increased air traffic noise in Elmhurst. Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 recently joined the effort as well, appointing Board of Education member Kara Caforio to serve as its representative on the O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission.