Record-breaking 25000 noise complaints filed by 6 individuals

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Now that is quite a remarkable statistic. In January 2015 approximately 39,000 noise complaints were filed in the greater Chicago area near O’Hare airport. This is quite an impressive number in itself. It gets better: approximately 25,000 of those were filed by six citizens with one of them filing about 11,000.

To get a better understanding, we did the maths. This means one would have had to file 360 complaints per day including weekends, 6 hours long without any breaks. The problem clearly isn't about airplane noise, but the fact the online complaint system doesn't employ a Captcha allowing a single person to file an unlimited number of complaints.

Angered residents have expressed their concerns at a noise commission meeting. Some say they are battling insomnia and depression due to the noise. Apparently these problems started after the new runway opened in 2013.

Airport noise has always been the focus of heated debates among adjacent neighborhoods. As a result noise abatement procedures have been put in place for most urban airports which require pilots to use designated runways and flight tracks at specific times of the day in order to lower the noise level near populated areas.