“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

Have you ever wondered how many planes go over “your runway” in a single day? How many consecutive hours of noise and pollution you’re exposed to on a daily basis? How often the city attempts to shift flight paths to give residents a break–or doesn’t? Well we have, and we did something about it to find out and share it with you.

FAiR obtained this information from CDA with many Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and compiled operations data for every single arrival and departure into and out of O’Hare from January 2013 (pre-change in flight patterns) through August 2015.**

The data has been sorted into daily tables (Arrivals or Departures) for each month so you can see exactly how many planes interrupted you and at what hours of the day. Especially of interest are the Fly Quiet hours, shaded in green and red for the “shoulder hours” (10-11 p.m. and 6-7 a.m.). Caveat: It’s a lot of information, but we think you’ll find it illuminating and it should be something you immediately bring to the attention of your elected officials. They should NOT be okay with what the city continues to impose on us with this bad plan. And the city will continue to impose more, as the goal is to increase capacity (which means operations equalling total number of flights) with the full build-out of the OMP. That means Only More Planes, noise and pollution in our skies.

Here’s what to do if you want to take a look at this information:
1. Know (or Find) your runway. You can do this by searching Google Maps for your address, then zooming out and adjusting the screen until you see O’Hare’s runway layout and your address. Check the runway layout against FAiR’s runway primer (click here) and see which runway your home lines up with (or between which two runways it lies).

2. Click here to access all data from January 2013-August 2015.

**Note: CDA was unable to provide complete data or provided duplicate data on some days. These have all been noted. The data contains some anomalies in runway designations, evident in single digit arrivals and departures on seldom used or closed runways, or operations with no runway designation which are totalized in the “Blank” column. It is unknown if these errant designations indicate an actual operation on another runway, therefore all aircraft operations have been counted in order to correlate to the raw data. However, the “Blank” tallies create a perpetual imbalance in operations favoring departures.

3. Choose a year (2013, 2014, or 2015)

4. Choose a month’s “Arrivals” or “Departures” (ex: 10-2013 ORD Arrivals)–depending on what causes you the most disruption. For many of you, it may be both–so you’ll choose one at a time.

5. You’ll now be in a document with a spreadsheet for each day of the month listing the runways at the top and the hours of the day from midnight (0:00-1:00) to midnight (23:00-24:00). Find your runway column (ex: 27L) and scroll through to see how many planes you experienced during specific hours of each day. The bottom row shows the total number of planes on “your runway” for a given day. For example, in October 2013, 27L had more than 400 flights a day on 16 days. On many of those days, the planes continued for sixteen hours straight. This is unacceptable! We deserve better!

What can you do with this information?

  • Write to all of your elected officials telling them that this cannot stand. If you are experiencing this many flights now, what will happen when demand goes up and two runways that could provide relief–especially overnight–are gone? Who is accountable to the people who live under the flight paths?
  • Use this new information to appeal your taxes at the Board of Review. Appeal decisions are in the mail and several members have received their results. Use this evidence when you submit your form and at a Board of Review hearing to show the exact impact this has on your home and its value.
  • Ask the Mayor and Commissioner Evans what is a reasonable and tolerable number of flights per day for a person to listen to and breathe in the emissions. Ask them if “your number” is a quality of life they would accept for themselves, their families, their children and grandchildren, their elderly relatives.

Knowledge is power, FAiR friends, and the more we arm ourselves with it, the more this bad plan reveals itself. Use this information to assert your voice, to assert your right as a citizen to have a say about your home, health, and property, and to tell the city that enough is enough. It is time for the Mayor and Commissioner to stand with the people.

Go FAiR!

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.

Greetings FAIR Members and Supporters,
It’s crunch time in our drive to increase membership, noise complaints, and the profile and voice of FAIR. We need as many people to mobilize and take action in the coming months as possible. This month, we ask you to self-print and distribute flyers within your community.


Click here to pledge to self-print and distribute flyers within your community this weekend in order to help drive up FAIR membership and publicize the noise reporting app:


Let’s do this people!  FAIR power!


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




FAiR & City/Suburban Summer Festivals

Last summer, FAiR had tables at a few community summer festivals and it proved to be a success. It was both enjoyable for FAiR members manning the tables and for getting the word out on FAiR, as well as attracting new members to FAiR.

This summer, we hope to participate in even more community summer fests, in the city and the suburbs. If your city community or suburb is having a fest this summer, and you would like to help get the ball rolling on FAiR being a part of it, please contact info@fairchicago.org

These summer festivals are a great way to help keep FAiR growing stronger.


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

Would you like to get more involved with FAiR? Consider joining one of our teams!

Click on “CONTACT US” or “JOIN FAiR” to see a list of teams. Get involved!

We are currently looking for a team leader on the Legal/Legislative team and members for the NEW Health Concerns team.

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.