Complaints about jet noise late at night from flights at O’Hare International Airport spiked by 56 percent in December, and 2013 ended with a record annual high of almost 29,500 complaints filed with the city of Chicago, according to data released toiday.
The new tally shows that the total of 4,646 noise complaints made at all hours in December declined marginally from 4,763 complaints received in November, which was the first full month after takeoffs and landings changed at O’Hare.
But nighttime complaints jumped – from 928 in November to 1,452 in December, according to the Chicago Department of Aviation.
The largest number of December complaints came from Chicago residents, specifically in the 39th, 41st and 45th Wards.
Jet-noise complaints also poured in from Norridge, Wood Dale and Elmhurst in December, the data show.
A fourth parallel runway that opened Oct. 17 at O’Hare ushered in new air-traffic patterns in which the majority of planes take off on runways heading west and most arriving flights approach O’Hare from the east.
Thousands of residents living east and west of O’Hare, as far away as 15 miles, who in the past experienced little or moderate levels of jet noise now find themselves under busy flight corridors day and night. Meanwhile, areas to the north and south of the airport are generally receiving less jet noise.
A total of 29,493 complaints were made in 2013, more than for any year on record since Chicago installed noise-monitoring devices in 1996, according to the Chicago Department of Aviation.
The 2012 total was 21,497 complaints. In 2007, only 1,248 complaints were filed, aviation department archives show.
Twitter: @JhilkevitchCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun