Noise pollution has become a rising issue over the last few decades with the growth in use of commercial flights, the growth in human population, and the need to develop homes and communities in close proximity to airports. But what is the big issue with noise pollution? How does it affect our health? How are these large airports handling incoming complaints on this issue? These are all big concerns raised by residents of these communities, and with good reason. Many people are unaware of the dangers of living in a town with extreme noise pollution from large commercial airports.
Noise pollution can have a surplus of negative effects on human health including sleeping disorders and cardio vascular issues (Pantawane, Maske & Kawade, 2017). Living in close proximity to an airport can cause severe sleep deprivation. Fatigue trickles down into a number of personal issues as well as safety concerns such as being to tired while operating your vehicle. Heart problems stem from high blood pressure dealing with high levels of noise throughout the day. Psychological problems are also a big concern when it comes to noise pollution. Excessive noise levels have been known to cause anxiety, aggression, and hypertension.
According to (Rossi, 2015), the O’Hare international airport in Chicago flew off the charts with noise grievances totaling more than 228,000 complaint in 2014. The runner up, JFK international airport, brought in 11 times fewer complaints totaling around 23,000. The citizens of Chicago seem to have a huge problem with the noise from the very busy airport. Back in 2014, it seemed as though this airport was doing nothing to control their noise pollution. Many airports have a system of responding to each complaint made. O’Hare on the other hand, does not. Many nearby residents probably felt as though they would just have to get used to this incredible amount of noise.
According to (Rossi, 2015), although the noise complaints consistently remained at an astonishingly high level, the number rose much higher when the airport switched to using mostly east-west parallel runways. Still yet, even as these numbers rose, another east-west runway was opened without any regards to the incoming complaints. Finally, in 2018 “The general membership of the O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission (ONCC) voted to approve an Interim Fly Quiet Nighttime Runway Rotation Plan for Chicago O’Hare International Airport.” (O’hare noise information, 2017.) Since most of the complaints tend to come from the east-west parallel runways, this plan will essentially combat nighttime noise pollution by adding diagonal runways and rotating not only parallel and diagonal runways but also east to west flow. So even though he residents that live near this airport will still be disrupted by the noise, it will at least be broken up and not a consistent commotion. To me, it seems to be a step in the right direction.
All airplanes and jets are incredibly loud, perhaps one of the loudest noises you will ever encounter. When you add numerous objects that create one of the loudest noises together in ne spot, the disruption it causes to the surrounding areas is ludicrous. It is the responsibility of the airport to ensure they are doing everything in their power to minimize this noise pollution to the best of their ability and to give residents piece of mind that they are in fact doing so. O’Hare international airport seemed to “drop the ball” on this matter for a few years but it seems as though they are now working hard to decrease the extreme inconvenience that noise can cause to the residents of Chicago.