“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has” – Margaret Mead

Greeting Fair members and supporters,

Fall is here and although we are closing our windows, the roar of the jets overhead keep coming.  Complaints have skyrocketed in the last three years after the city shifted traffic from the older diagonal runways to new parallel east-west runways.  This has significantly concentrated more traffic over the northwest side of the city of Chicago as well as suburban communities east and west of the airport.  We know this all too well.

Many of you are aware of the O’Hare “Fly Quiet” test phase.  Fly Quiet is a six-month test in collaboration with the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to make greater use of diagonal runways, shifting noise away from suburbs east and west of the airport and northwest side Chicago neighborhoods. Under the plan, runways (including diagonal runway 15 / 33) are rotated on a week-to-week basis for nighttime travel (10:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.). This program is set to expire December 2016.  FAiR contends that Fly Quiet in its revised form should continue into 2017 with no interruption.  

FAiR is proud to initiate the Save Our Sleep (SOS) campaign.  In the coming weeks, FAiR will be pushing for the permanent institution of Fly Quiet.  Further, FAiR will be asking our elected representatives, CDA, FAA and O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission (ONCC) to enact Fly Quiet as a mandatory (rather than voluntary) program with the utilization of diagonal runway 15 / 33 as part of the permanent rotation.   

You will be receiving email updates and action alerts as part of the SOS campaign…..please keep an eye out for them.  

Thanks to you all and together we are stronger!

Fair Leadership

Information on Fly Quiet Rotation Schedule



Dear FAiR Members and Supporters,

Hopefully you have had a chance to read the coverage of Monday’s Fly Quiet Ad Hoc meeting. (If not, the links are below.) Chairwoman Juracek continues to insist that FAiR is obstinate, just because we refuse to roll over and accept the unacceptable. In our view,  the obstinate parties here are the CDA and Mayor who will have their built-out airport and revenue at any cost, including all the negative impacts on hundreds of thousands of residents with the ONCC serving only as their mouthpiece.  From the beginning, FAiR has suggested that the solution lies in using all runways–including those original to the airport.

Throughout the whole process of “engagement,” FAiR has never asked for accommodations that compromise safety or efficiency but has said that when demand permits and especially in overnight hours the city and its airport must be a good neighbor to communities. The choices to allow operations far into late night hours and early morning hours, as well as to move forward with a flawed plan that removes options for noise abatement, belong to the city alone. It is high time to stop blaming the victims.

We came together last summer in the spirit of conversation and compromise but instead, the ONCC and the Fly Quiet Committee have refused to give a voice to the very people who they are supposed to serve, often cutting short the time for public comments and denying a vote to the representative of the citizens affected by the changes at O’Hare.  Monday’s meeting was no exception as after being told that FAA representatives would be on hand to answer questions, that segment of the meeting was eliminated.

Until the ONCC steps up as a much stronger advocate for residents in multiple areas, FAiR will continue the fight AGAINST noise and pollution.  We will continue to fight FOR our quality of life!

Save the date and plan to pack the room on September 9th for the ONCC meeting.  While we endure the worst season for jet noise and pollution, the O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission (ONCC) conveniently has taken the summer off. We want to show up in force and demand that they do their jobs and advocate for the people they represent instead of continuing to be a puppet of the city.  Mark your calendars!

8:00 Am on 9/9 Cafe La Cave – 2777 S. Mannheim Road, Des Plaines, IL

FAiR’s response to JDA’s erroneous account of things

Dear FAiR Members and Supporters,

Joe del Balzo president and founder of JDA Aviation Technologies (and hired consultants by the Suburban O’Hare Commission) posted the article below to FAiR’s Facebook page.   Once again, the voice of the people is being buried while others pat themselves on the back and put us at the back of the bus.  We are not about to let this slide.  Below is our response.

Regarding the post by Sandy Murdock on JDA’s website: http://jdasolutions.aero/blog/national-airport-noise-solution/

Achieving this compromise regarding night noise over residential communities surrounding O’Hare is, indeed, a collaborative achievement across groups and agencies that should rightly be acknowledged. But Sandy Murdock is incorrect to attribute the creation, development and success of this single and first step in addressing airport impacts on communities to the leadership of Rahm Emanuel, Ginger Evans, Michael Huerta, Barry Cooper, or any elected, appointed or paid official. A handful of local elected officials were early and consistent supporters of FAiR and their constituents and should be credited for their responsiveness, but that group does not include those named in JDA’s article. Let us not forget that in countless other instances in the past and in other cities even today, this kind of success has remained elusive if not impossible. What was different in Chicago this time? Simply this: a movement initiated and led by a large, informed, focused and organized group of citizens who would not go away even when the same officials now credited for having so much vision and openness to change told us to do just that. Allow us to once and for all set the timeline and the record straight:

  • It was the citizens coming together as the FAiR Allocation in Runways (FAiR) Coalition–city and suburbs, east and west of O’Hare–who FIRST voiced the notion of O’Hare as a public good and that a fair allocation of runway use (north/south, east/west, day/night, city/suburb) was the only way to balance the economic benefits of O’Hare with the attendant noise and pollution impacts.

  • It was the citizens via FAiR who began disseminating information among and across communities about how to file noise complaints, learn about the O’Hare Modernization Plan (OMP), contact elected officials, and appeal property taxes.

  • It was a FAiR member and citizen who eventually updated and upended the City of Chicago’s antiquated and cumbersome website for filing noise complaints.

  • It was the citizens who began showing up in ever larger numbers to the O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission (ONCC) meetings, asking detailed questions and demanding better responses from its leadership.

  • It was the citizens who focused ever-increasing attention to the non-responsiveness of the former Aviation Commissioner and ONCC chair, and brought the pressure that led to each of their resignations.

  • It was the citizens who made the flight path changes a campaign issue in the mayoral race in 2015 and forced Mayor Emanuel to respond.

  • It was the citizens who initiated meetings with local and state elected officials to demand solutions and action from their elected representatives who, up until now, had permitted the flawed OMP to evolve without regard for impacts on the very voters and taxpayers they served.

  • It was the citizens who conceived and brought the idea for state legislation to alter the OMP, which led to one bill, SB 636, being passed; and the other failed bill to result in the first ever meetings between the Chicago Department of Aviation, the mayor’s office and citizens via the Fair Allocation in Runways (FAiR) Coalition.

  • It was FAiR, not Mayor Emanuel or Ginger Evans, who welcomed and invited the participation of the Suburban O’Hare Commission (SOC) and its aviation consulting firm–the very same JDA that wrote the referenced article and now enjoys an apparently friendly relationship with Chicago’s Department of Aviation–at their summer meetings in 2015 because at that time the City of Chicago preferred to maintain its historic divide-and-conquer strategy of city vs. suburbs.

  • And it has ONLY been as a result of the pressure, relentlessness, and actions of FAiR and citizens from the entire O’Hare area that this Fly Quiet committee, process, vote and now test period has come to fruition. Every official involved got on board not because they were suddenly enlightened to “make O’Hare be a better neighbor,” but because citizens rightly demanded a better response and accountability from those elected and appointed to the public trust.

Collaboration yes, one that started with the citizens and one that will end when the citizens are satisfied that a portion of their quality of life has been restored. The real and necessary model here is how citizens can and must constantly engage with each other and their elected representatives to ensure that their quality of life, health, sleep and property are never again as carelessly disregarded as they were with O’Hare.

Airplane Noise is a Hot topic in Congress!!

Rep. Lynch and Quiet Skies Caucus Introduce Airplane Impacts Mitigation Act. Read about it HERE

Click HERE to see the letter that Congressman Mike Quigley, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, and Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth sent to the Chicago Department of Aviation Commissioner Ginger Evans on April 22nd regarding the O’Hare diagonal runways.

O’Hare NOISE Compatibility Commission Newsroom

Read FAiR’s letter to the ONCC and Ginger Evans about the CDA’s proposed Fly Quiet rotation plan HERE


March 2, 2016

Emily Hampsten (202) 225-4061

Quigley Pressures FAA to Address O’Hare Noise Issue

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD), pressured Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta to commit to taking actions to protect residents and their property around O’Hare International Airport from aircraft noise in today’s THUD Appropriations Subcommittee hearing.

In response, Rep. Quigley released the following statement:

“The unprecedented noise pollution facing our local communities is a serious problem that warrants urgent action from all levels. Today, I again pressured the FAA to explain why steps have not already been taken to help alleviate the noise issue. The FAA has the statutory authority to ‘relieve and protect the public health and welfare from aircraft noise’ through ‘regulations to control and abate aircraft noise.’ Yet this past December, more than 82,000 residents around O’Hare complained about the increase in noise and the FAA’s own data shows that noise will increase dramatically when the O’Hare Modernization Program is completed. As an appropriator with direct oversight of the FAA, I made clear my commitment to make the FAA protect residents, their health and their property around O’Hare.”

Rep. Quigley grilled Administrator Huerta on the increased number of noise complaints around O’Hare Airport since the beginning of the O’Hare Modernization Program (OMP), pushed for an update on the 65 DNL study, and urged the FAA to enact a more balanced use of the runways to spread out the impact of aircraft noise. In a second round of questioning, Rep. Quigley pressed Administrator Huerta for an update on the FAA’s community involvement manual and implementation plan, which Rep. Quigley secured language for in the most recent omnibus. Rep. Quigley called out the FAA’s lack of meaningful community education and outreach when completing major overhauls to airspace use, including OMP.

A video of Rep. Quigley questioning FAA Administrator Huerta in today’s Appropriations THUD Subcommittee hearing is available here and here. A video of the full subcommittee hearing is available here.

O’Hare International Airport became a part of Illinois’ Fifth Congressional District in January 2013. Since then, Rep. Quigley has met continuously with neighborhood organizations and aviation officials to discuss solutions to increased noise pollution resulting from the O’Hare Modernization Program (OMP). Recently, he and other Illinois representatives released a statement in response to the Chicago Department of Aviation’s (CDA) plans to mitigate O’Hare noise after a previous letter was sent to the organization pushing them to address practical solutions to noise complaints. Rep. Quigley joined other members of the Quiet Skies Caucus in a letter to House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee with recommendations for the FAA 2015 Reauthorization Act that would help address the harmful impacts of aircraft noise on communities across the country. In May, he secured language in the FY16 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) funding bill mandating the FAA develop short and long-term measures to mitigate excessive airplane noise experienced by local communities around O’Hare International Airport.

At a hearing for Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development for FY 2016, Rep. Quigley pressed FAA Administrator Huerta on the need to lower the 65 DNL metric in the long term but insisted that the FAA work with the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) to provide immediate short term solutions for the communities affected by the O’Hare Modernization Program.  In November, Rep. Quigley, along with Reps. Duckworth and Schakowsky, urged CDA to improve the O’Hare noise complaint process by creating a dedicated O’Hare noise complaint line, manned by personnel versed on the noise issue to begin to get a truly accurate count of constituent complaints. He also pushed the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to conduct new public hearings and issue a new environmental impact study (EIS) of the OMP in response to questions raised over the hearing process and noise levels that exceeded expectations. He also repeatedly called on the FAA to change the outdated noise metric that could allow more homeowners and businesses to qualify for soundproofing programs. In Congress, Rep. Quigley helped create the Quiet Skies Caucus and introduced the Silent Skies Act to help combat aircraft noise on a national level.


It would seem Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel supports our solution to O’Hare noise.
Keep the pressure on and let’s see this happen in 2016! Thanks to FAiR leader Al Rapp for putting this Vine video clip together.


Fly Quiet Cannot Exist Without All Diagonal Runways

FAiR presented at the O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission Fly Quiet Ad-Hoc Committee on November 16, 2015. Read our presentation and meeting notes which drive home that “Fly Quiet” cannot exist without the diagonals. The Department of Aviation’s presentation is here.

We’re not alone in our thinking; this aviation consulting firm agrees in their documents that the diagonals should be retained and used more often.


July 31, 2015


Emily Hampsten (202) 225-4061

Quigley, Duckworth, Schakowsky Statement on CDA Plans to Mitigate O’Hare Noise

CHICAGO — Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), a leader of the Quiet Skies Caucusalong with Reps. Tammy Duckworth (IL-08) and Jan Schakowsky (IL-09) released the following statement in response to the list of steps the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) will be taking to address the noise issue at O’Hare:

“Today’s announcement by the CDA has been a long time coming, as our constituents around O’Hare Airport have been dealing with increased noise issues since the east-west flow was implemented nearly two years ago. We have been calling for many of the noise mitigation techniques that CDA announced today including implementing a new Fly Quiet plan for more even distribution of flight paths, changes to the 311 complaint system, and a plan for increased community engagement by CDA. We commend Commissioner Evans for taking our concerns seriously and for showing a willingness to consider reasonable options to address O’Hare noise issues and moving swiftly to implement real change.

“However, we are not convinced at this time that building new runways, while simultaneously decommissioning the diagonal runways, will help reduce noise in our communities and ensure O’Hare remains a competitive airport. We believe the diagonal runways remain necessary for efficiency, safety and noise abatement. Leaving the diagonal runways open would allow us to maintain the most potential options to configure the airport and help distribute the noise burden.

“We trust that CDA wants what’s best for Chicago and O’Hare, and we look forward to a continued dialogue on this issue. We will stress at every opportunity that sensible noise abatement does not preclude a vibrant O’Hare, and that we owe it to our constituents to explore every reasonable option.”

The complete Chicago Department of Aviation analysis can be found at: http://www.flychicago.com/business/en/media/news/Pages/MOU_Meeting3.aspx



The meeting packets we produced for the FAiR community conversations can be found here:

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Review the MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING with the City of Chicago and the members of the 99th General Assembly HERE





File your noise complaints to Chicago’s 311 site quickly and efficiently with our new app! Works great from your computer, tablet or mobile phone!

See a detailed instruction video on how to use the app HERE.

Read our press release HERE


FAiR Merchandise is HERE!!

Clothing (and other items) with artwork by children to raise awareness of FAiR and the issues of increased noise and air pollution surrounding Chicago airports.

NOTE: These products are sold through the hard work of FAIR Coalition volunteers. FAiR does not provide nor receive funds from the products. SHOW YOUR SUPPORT!

Below are the artwork designs you may choose from on T-shirts, hoodies, Jackets, bags, etc.

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this design also available as a CAR MAGNET


Check out FAiR’s new anthem!!

Yard signs are in! Contact us to order yours today!


Who are we?

Increase in O’Hare airplane noise and pollution and you, the citizen

We invite you to join the Fair Allocation in Runways (FAiR) Coalition, a citizen-led initiative that gathers democratically. We are a rapidly growing coalition of citizens and civics on Chicago’s NW side and near NW suburbs.

What is FAiR about?

FAiR seeks a real voice at O’Hare to secure an equitable distribution of takeoffs and landings, day and night, east and west, and using all existing runways including the diagonals. FAiR is the leading voice for residents on this issue.

What does FAiR believe?

It is our Coalition’s experience that citizens and civic organizations concerned about the severe impact on our communities from increased noise and air pollution occurring as a result of the new October 2013 runway configurations have not had a real seat at the table in the development and implementation of how O’Hare takeoff and landing patterns were designed. FAiR supports the economic engine that is O’Hare, but we believe that as our neighbor, the airport must work with the community to determine when and where those engines fly over our homes, yards, schools, parks and businesses. FAiR’s desire is to obtain acceptable solutions to community concerns as well as future plans so they do not become an issue. To date, that conversation with communities has been non-existent, with the unfortunate viewpoint given that the communities will simply have to live with the consequences resulting from October 2013 and O’Hare Modernization Plan (OMP) changes yet to come. The FAiR Coalition seeks to replace that antiquated institutional practice so common in Chicago and Cook County with a democratic approach involving a modern assessment of the risks and rewards for both O’Hare AND our communities. FAiR’s goal is a better future founded upon a real voice for communities and solutions arising out of collaboration between the citizenry and our government. Solutions to these types of challenges are not solely technical in nature but are more importantly democratic in substance.

What can you do?

As a neighbor, resident and fellow citizen, We ask you to Join FAiR. Then…

  • Sign our online petition
  • Report noise complaints
  • Contact your elected officials
  • Like us on Facebook
  • Put up a FAiR yard sign
  • Tell your neighbors about how our democracy has been imperiled
  • Become active with FAiR in your community

All of this can be done via this website, click on the buttons to your right or contact us for more information.