April 19, 2001 Daily Herald
Officials make noise over Fly Quiet program failure
By Jon Davis Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted on April 19, 2001

Arlington Heights officials have felt like frustrated airline passengers at the end of a long, slow-moving line.

For months, they have vented their frustrations that the city of Chicago's "Fly Quiet" program - designed to route flights leaving O'Hare International Airport away from populated areas between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. - was not working.

They even compiled a related statistic: in all of 2000, just 16 percent of nighttime departures used Runway 27-Left, the east-west runway that is the "Fly Quiet" program's preferred option.

At the same time, 38 percent of nighttime departures used 32-Left, the southeast-northwest runway that sends flights right over Arlington Heights.

Members of the village's Advisory Committee on O'Hare Noise got the chance Tuesday night to express their feelings directly to officials from Chicago's Department of Aviation.

"We hit hard on that point to them, that we are not happy with that," said Trustee Bert Rosenberg, a member of the committee.

The city "probably could" lean harder on air traffic controllers and the Federal Aviation Administration to adhere to "Fly Quiet" procedures, Rosenberg said.

The city's representatives also presented information on runway use, summer maintenance construction schedules, and advanced flight track procedures - a computerized system that uses global positioning satellites to keep airplanes closer to prescribed flight tracks during night hours.

That system is in the process of getting FAA approvals, and could be in use as early as this summer, said Bill Enright, Arlington Heights' deputy director of planning and community development.

As for complying with "Fly Quiet" rules, Enright said part of problem was that information was not in the "Jepsen Manual," which lists approach and departure instructions at airports for pilots, Enright said.

Moreover, the city said "Fly Quiet" is voluntary, can't be mandated and is ultimately in the air traffic controllers' hands, Enright added.

"It's our opinion that the city of Chicago has a little more leverage since they own the airport," Enright said.

[Chicago ATC News]