As early as next month, the Federal Aviation Administration is expected to test a new plan for rotating night time flights in and out of O'Hare International Airport, something supporters say will spread the pain of jet noise, but opponents worry will hurt the northwest suburbs.
The O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission, made up of municipalities and school districts around the airport, approved by a 45-5 vote on Friday a "Fly Quiet" plan that will alternate which runways are used for arrivals and departures from week to week.
Spreading pain, by definition, creates pain in new places, and representatives of some northwest suburbs such as Palatine and Des Plaines are concerned that the new plan means they'll get a much greater share of jet noise on late nights and early mornings than they did before.
Des Plaines Ald. Malcolm Chester, who voted against the plan, said daytime jet traffic already puts planes over the heads of some of his constituents about every minute. "Now they're going to get it 24/7 — that's a pretty big impact," Chester said.