Tag Archives: OHare

Anti-violence demonstrators aiming to shut down part of Kennedy near O’Hare

More at ABC 7 Chicago.

Connected to Chicago (03-25-2018)

Connected to Chicago with Bill Cameron guest former Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department Garry McCarthy joins the show to discuss the upcoming mayoral election, and how he could defeat Rahm Emanuel. McCarthy discusses topics including ways to cut down on crime, Improving CPS, and Pension Reform.

In this week’s round table segment, Bill Cameron is joined by Ray Long of the Chicago Tribune, Greg Hinz of Crain’s, and Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun Times. Topics of discussion include this weeks primary election results, Fritz Kaegi’s win over Joe Berrios, the upcoming Mayoral race, and the recent visit from Amazon Executives to Chicago to see if the city could potentially be the new home for Amazon’s new warehouse.

This week’s community spotlight segment with Joseph L Schofer, Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Northwestern University. He discusses how the City of Chicago is accepting two private companies as finalists to bid on the city’s plan to build an express train between downtown and O’Hare. One of those companies is led by billionaire developer Elon Musk, who uses hi-tech tools to build underground tunnels. His plan could have what he calls hyperloop technology, which reportedly involves propelling people in pods via an underground vacuum-type tube.


Video appears to show passenger being removed from United flight

(CHICAGO) A Facebook video appears to show a passenger being forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight Sunday evening at O’Hare International Airport.

The 31-second clip posted on the Facebook page of Audra D. Bridges about 7:30 p.m. Sunday appears to show a man being dragged by his arms from a plane.

“Please share this video. We are on this flight. United airlines overbooked the flight. They randomly selected people to kick off so their standby crew could have a seat,” according to the caption of the Facebook video.

“This man is a doctor and has to be at the hospital in the morning. He did not want to get off. We are all shaky and so disgusted,” according to the caption.

“Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked,” United spokesman Charlie Hobart said in an email statement.

“After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement was asked to come to the gate,” Hobart said.

“We apologize for the overbook situation. Further details on the removed customer should be directed to authorities.”

The city’s Dept. of Aviation police handled the situation, according to Chicago Police. A spokesperson for the aviation department did not immediately respond to a call requesting comment Monday morning.

© Copyright 2017 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved.

More than 500 flights canceled as snow falls across Chicago

(CHICAGO) More than 500 flights have been canceled as Chicago prepares for up to 4 inches of snow by Monday afternoon.

As of 6 a.m. Monday, 411 flights were canceled at O’Hare International Airport and 98 flights had been canceled at Midway International Airport, according to the Chicago Department of Aviation. Delays at O’Hare were averaging about 31 minutes, while delays at Midway were less than 15 minutes.

Snow started falling at O’Hare about 9:45 p.m. Sunday, but less than an inch had accumulated by 1 a.m. Monday, said National Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Donofrio. By 5:45 a.m., 2 inches of snow had fallen in north suburban Evanston and northwest suburban Woodstock.

A winter weather advisory was in effect until 1 p.m. Monday, with between 2 and 4 inches of snow accumulations expected in Lake, DuPage and Cook counties. Visibility will be reduced during periods of heavy snowfall and could make for difficult driving conditions, the weather service warned.

“The intensity of the snow will vary from time to time until (Monday) morning,” said meteorologist Gino Izzi. “It seems pretty likely we’ll be experiencing snow during rush hour, so I would plan on a longer than usual commute.”

Izzi said this will be the first time Chicago has recorded at least 1 inch of snow since Dec. 17, 2016, marking the city’s longest streak without snow ever recorded during the winter.

Lake effect snow could then develop Monday evening and continue overnight into Tuesday, adding to snowfall accumulations, the weather service said. Lake effect snow, which can produce very heavy snowfall, sometimes in excess of 2 inches per hour, could continue periodically through Tuesday afternoon.

Temperatures were expected to reach a high of about 30 degrees on Monday, the weather service said. The chance of snow was about 100 percent on Monday, with wind gusts as high as 20 mph. A high near 27 degrees was expected Tuesday, with an 80 percent chance of snow.

The city’s Department of Streets and Sanitation deployed 287 snow plows overnight to tackle the snowy weather. The plows focus on salting and plowing arterial routes to ensure the roads are safe before moving to neighborhood streets, if necessary.

While Chicago braced for its first snowfall in months, larger snowstorms were expected on the East Coast. A blizzard watch was issued for the Boston area, with 12 to 18 inches of snow expected to fall over eastern Massachusetts as well as central and southern Rhode Island, according to the weather service.

© Copyright 2017 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved.

Statement From Mayor Emanuel on Detained Persons at O’Hare

Saturday at 10:00 p.m.

Today’s actions have tarnished America’s standing as a beacon of hope for the free world, and there has been scant credible and confirmed information available throughout the day about the impact of the president’s executive order on those detained. Following the stay that was granted this evening, I am calling on the federal government to immediately produce a list of the names of anyone currently being detained at O’Hare or Midway Airports, and calling on those unjustly affected to immediately be released and allowed to access legal counsel. 

-Mayor Rahm Emanuel

O’Hare flights drop in 2016; Atlanta busiest airport again

CHICAGO (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration reports O’Hare International Airport in Chicago was the nation’s second-busiest in 2016. Flights at O’Hare dropped 1 percent.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport saw a jump in flights of 2 percent compared to 2015. It had just under 900,000 arrivals and departures compared with O’Hare’s 868,000.

Los Angeles International Airport took over the number three spot in 2016 from the field in Dallas-Fort Worth. Denver’s was fifth for a second straight year.

Midway International Airport on Chicago’s south side was 25th busiest for the second year in a row with 253,000 flights, down slightly.

The FAA says the five-year operations average at O’Hare is 877,000. That compares with 963,000 annually from 2004 to 2007.

June 23-24 were O’Hare’s busiest days in 2016 with 2,700 flight operations each day.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

O’Hare workers to strike on nationwide ‘Day of Disruption’

(CHICAGO) Organizers of a Nov. 29 nationwide day of protests by hourly workers say a planned strike at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago is only a part of their push for a $15 hourly wage and union rights.

In a news release, organizers say thousands of workers plan to walk off the job at McDonald’s restaurants and other fast-food spots in more than 340 cities. The planned “Day of Disruption” marks the fourth anniversary of the first protests at McDonald’s restaurants in New York.

The Service Employees International Union Local 1 said Monday that hundreds of workers will strike that day at O’Hare, one of the nation’s busiest airports.

O’Hare is the only airport where workers plan to strike, though organizers are planning protests at other airports.

The Chicago Department of Aviation says it doesn’t anticipate any disruption in service.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.</em

O’Hare airport workers to announce strike date Monday

(CHICAGO) Thanksgiving holiday air travelers will soon learn when hundreds of workers plan to strike this week at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

Service Employees International Union Local 1 officials say they will announce the date of their strike during a Monday news conference. About 500 workers committed to a strike after a vote last week. The workers are trying to organize with the union’s help. They work mainly for private contractors at the airport and include baggage handlers, cabin cleaners, janitors, and wheelchair attendants.

The workers are seeking union rights and a $15 per hour wage.

It wasn’t immediately clear how such a strike would affect operations at O’Hare, which is one of the nation’s busiest airports. The Chicago Department of Aviation has said it doesn’t anticipate any disruption in service.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

18 passengers sue after fiery engine failure at O’Hare

The National Transportation Safety Board released this photo of the pieces it recovered from a high-pressure turbine disk that fractured inside the engine of an American Airlines jet that was about to take off from O’Hare International Airport on Oct. 28. | National Transportation Safety Board photo


(CHICAGO) Eighteen passengers have filed a lawsuit against Boeing and American Airlines after the airplane they were on caught fire last month on the tarmac of O’Hare International Airport when part of an engine failed.

About 20 people were taken to hospitals after the right engine of Miami-bound American Airlines Flight 383 broke into four pieces about 2:30 p.m. Oct. 28, according to fire officials and the National Transportation Safety Board.

The suit filed Monday in Cook County Circuit Court also names as a defendant General Electric Aviation, claiming it sold a faulty engine that Boeing used to assemble an unsafe 767 aircraft. The passengers also claim American Airlines employees should have done a better job inspecting the plane, and that they failed to provide “assistance, supervision and instruction” during evacuation.

Spokesmen for Boeing and American declined to comment on the pending litigation. A representative for GE could not immediately be reached for comment Monday evening.

An NTSB report issued a week after the fire said one of the fractures on the turbine disk of the engine was “consistent with fatigue cracking.” Takeoff was aborted due to the “uncontained engine failure” that led to fuel pooling under the plane’s right wing, which then burst into flames, authorities said.

One piece of the turbine disk went through the inboard section of the right wing, over the fuselage and into a UPS warehouse facility more than a half-mile away. Another piece was found about 1,600 feet away, but it was still on O’Hare property, authorities said.

No fire breached the cabin, and the 20 hospitalized passengers had been released a night after the fire.

The five-count negligence suit seeks an unspecified amount in damages.


American Airlines opens automated screening lanes at O’Hare

(CHICAGO) American Airlines has opened two new security screening lanes it says will reduce wait times by 30 percent for its passengers at O’Hare International Airport.

The new screening lanes, opened last week, automate tasks normally performed by people such as returning property bins to the beginning of the line and diverting bags that need further inspection to allow bins behind it to continue uninterrupted, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

The new technology will benefit American Airlines passengers in Terminal 3 and is part of a joint plan by the airline and the Transportation Security Administration. Automated lanes will be added this fall at several other American Airlines hub airports.

The airline is investing $26 million in the new equipment, said airline spokeswoman Leslie Scott.

The new lanes are not completely automated. A TSA worker will still be on hand to review images of the contents of bags on a monitor. And others will be on hand to conduct searches.

But the technological advances will do away with the need for a TSA agent to handle empty bins, said Scott, noting that the new machines are the first of their kind in Chicago.

Other new features include bins that are 25 percent larger than bins on regular screening lanes; electronic tags on each bin that allow tracking items as they go through screening; and cameras that match photos of the outside of a bag to the X-ray image of its contents. And travelers will no longer have to push their bins along rollers leading to the conveyor belt of the X-ray machine; the rollers will do that on their own.

The automated lanes will “enhance security effectiveness and efficiency, while improving the customer experience,” American Airlines Chief Operating Officer Robert Isom said in a statement.

Waits at Terminal 3 averaged less than 20 minutes Sunday afternoon, according the Chicago Department of Aviation website.

The automated lanes come six months after long lines — caused by TSA staff cuts, tightened security measures and an increase in passengers — plagued security checkpoints at O’Hare.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Sen. Dick Durbin lobbied for and won additional screening officers and canine teams that alleviated the issue.

Work begins on new O’Hare runway

By Adam Chappelle, WLS-AM 890 News

(CHICAGO) Work on a new runway at O’Hare is set to begin Thursday. The more than 11,000 foot runway will be the airport’s 6th east-west runway and the 2nd longest at the airport when it opens in 2020.

City aviation planners say the new tarmac will reduce flight delays and spread out jet noise the in the areas east and west of O’Hare.

The runway is part of a $1.3 billion infrastructure project that includes new de-icing pads, hangars, and a modern taxiway system. None of the $1.3 billion will be coming from Chicago taxpayers, though. The hefty price tag will be picked up by the FAA ($345M), existing passenger facility charges ($200M) and aviation bonds.

It’s the final new piece to the decades-long O’Hare Modernization Program. Another current runway is due to undergo expansion by 2021.

May 25: A somber anniversary at O’Hare

By Adam Chappelle, WLS-AM 890 News

(CHICAGO) On May 25, 1979, the nation’s worst single aviation disaster happened at O’Hare. American Airlines flight 191 was heading from Chicago to Los Angeles when a faulty pylon caused an engine to completely fall off the plane. ​

Recordings from O’Hare’s air traffic control show controllers noticed the plane was in trouble from the start. ATC called for emergency crews just seconds after the DC-10 took off and began banking hard at a nearly 90 degree angle.

The plane barely made it to the end of the runway before it crashed into a hangar, killing all 271 passengers and crew on board.

WLS’ Jim Johnson was at the scene of the accident, and called it ‘one of the worst sights I have ever seen.

The crash of American flight 191 ended up exposing a common cost-cutting problem in the aviation industry. Rather than following procedures, American and other airlines would take shortcuts to reattach pylons to the wing after an engine was replaced. The FAA ordered all DC-10s grounded until inspections were performed, and found more than a half-dozen other aircraft had improperly installed pylons and were at risk of suffering the same fate as Flight 191.


© WLS-AM 890 News

Durbin Asks Airlines to Suspend Baggage Fees

By Bill Cameron, WLS-AM 890 News

(CHICAGO) While the TSA works to hire more people to help with the long screening lines that have hampered at O’Hare and Midway Airports, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) is working on a plan to help shrink lines.

Durbin says he’s arranged for Homeland Security to add 58 screeners and four more teams of bomb-sniffing dogs, but it’s going to take several weeks.

He’s also calling on the airlines to help speed up the lines by suspending baggage fees so that more passengers will check their baggage. He says the airlines can afford it.

“They’re making money and lets be honest about it, taking off on a plane that’s half empty because people are still standing, waiting to go through TSA, isn’t very profitable for an airline,” Durbin said. “It keeps their passengers unhappy and uncertain about future travel plans. So if the airlines will join us and forego a little bit of their profitability for a few months here, we can start to get this system working here.”

​So help is on the way, but it’s gonna take a while.

Three women arrested at O’Hare with $3M worth of drug

Pa Yang, Mai Vue Vang and True Thao | Chicago Police

(CHICAGO) Three Minnesota women were arrested Tuesday afternoon at O’Hare International Airport carrying more than $3 million worth of heroin and opium.

Pa Yang, 57; Mai Vue Vang, 58; and True Thao, 52 were each charged with one felony count of manufacturing and delivering more than 900 grams of heroin or heroin analogs, according to Chicago Police.

The women were arrested about 4:20 p.m. in Terminal 5 of the airport after they got off a flight from Japan, police said.

U.S. Customs agents found many small packets of heroin and opium adding up to 31.5 kilograms during a luggage screening, police said. The drugs have an estimated street value of more than $3 million.

Yang and Vang are from St. Paul and Thao is from Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, police said. All three are scheduled to appear in bond court Wednesday.

Rahm: New Runway Keeps O’Hare “World Class”

By Bill Cameron, WLS News

(CHICAGO) Mayor Rahm Emanuel and dignitaries have officially announced the new east-west runway on the south side of O’Hare Airport along with a South Air Traffic Control Tower.

Rather than address concerns from residents of nearby suburbs that the new runway will create new jet noise, Emanuel talked about how it will keep O’Hare world class.

“There is no where in the world and no where in the United States you can’t get to multiple times daily from the City of Chicago, weather permitting, and we are working on that in the City Council next week,” Emanuel said to laughter. “This modernization of O’Hare, the modernization of Midway, continues to allow Chicago to be at the center of a global economy.”

In the last 15 years, O’Hare has added three new runways, a runway extension, many new taxiways and now a third control tower.

Listen to Bill Cameron’s report for WLS News radio:



@2015 WLS News

Bensenville residents sue over noise, damage from new O’Hare runway

(CHICAGO) Dozens of northwest suburban residents, angered by a new O’Hare Airport runway that has sent a stream of jets over their homes, are suing the city, saying their homes have been damaged and rendered unlivable by the change in flight patterns, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

The plaintiffs’ Bensenville homes “are extremely close the runway, and airplanes using the runway fly at very low altitudes directly over their homes and/or their immediate neighborhood day after day in an unrelenting fashion given the new runway’s flight path,” the lawsuit, filed Thursday in Cook County Circuit Court, claims.

Besides the excessive noise from planes landing and taking off almost around the clock—and as close as 100 feet above the ground—the air traffic has: “caused shingles to come loose; left an oily residue on their homes and property; caused cracking of walls, ceilings, windows, and foundations; caused leaking roofs; caused ceiling fans to come loose; resulted in soaring electric bills (due to the Residents’ inability to open windows because of the excessive and constant noise); caused intermittent loss of cell phone and internet connectivity; and caused intermittent loss of electricity,” the suit claims.

In all, 74 residents, many of them couples, are named as plaintiffs in the suit, which asserts that city officials “publicly assured the residents that this new runway would not have a material impact upon their lives, property, or neighborhoods.” The city, according to the suit, also repeatedly assured residents the volume of air traffic would not be significant or disruptive, but the suit concludes those assurances “remain untrue.”

The excessive noise has essentially rendered yards and other outdoor spaces unusable, “has dramatically and negatively forever altered the lives of the residents, and has caused their homes to plummet in value and to be undesirable, unusable, and unsafe.”

The lawsuit alleges the city’s actions add up to “unjust enrichment”—that is, the city is benefiting from the runway at the expense of residents without compensating them fairly for the lost value of their property, according to the suit.

Though the suit seeks compensation, it does not specify or even estimate what a fair amount of compensation would be. It does, however, note that residents should be paid more than the fair market value of their homes that value, the suit notes, to be based on what the homes were worth before the runway opened.

Hundreds of nearby homes and other properties, the suit notes, were purchased and demolished to make way for the runway.

A spokesman for the city’s legal department said it was aware of the lawsuit but could not yet comment.

$25K bond for Indiana man arrested with loaded gun at O’Hare

(CHICAGO) Bond was set at $25,000 on Wednesday for a southern Indiana man arrested for having a loaded handgun in his carry-on bag at O’Hare International Airport on Tuesday morning.

Brian R. Hardman, 47, faces one felony count of attempting to board an aircraft with a weapon and one misdemeanor count of unlawful use of a weapon, according to Chicago Police.

About 8 a.m. Tuesday, the TSA discovered the loaded 9mm Kel-Tec in Hardman’s carry-on, according to TSA spokesman Michael McCarthy. He was en route to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Hardman, of the 1200 block of Longmeadow Way in Evansville, Ind., was ordered held on a $25,000 bond on Wednesday, according to police and Cook County court records. He is next due in court on March 3.

© Copyright 2015 Sun-Times Media, LLC 

Indiana man arrested with gun at O’Hare

(CHICAGO) An Indiana man was arrested Tuesday morning with a handgun and loaded magazine in his carry-on bag at O’Hare International Airport.

Brian R. Hardman, 47, faces one felony count of attempt to board an aircraft with a weapon and one misdemeanor count of unlawful use of a weapon, according to Chicago Police.

He was arrested at a security checkpoint after a 9 mm handgun and a loaded magazine — containing live ammunition — were discovered in one of his carry-on bags, police said.

Hardman, of the 1200 block of Longmeadow Way in Evansville, Ind., is scheduled to appear in bond court Wednesday.

© Copyright 2015 Sun-Times Media, LLC 

New citizen website could send O’Hare jet noise complaints soaring

(CHICAGO) A new, user-friendly citizen website threatens to send record complaints about O’Hare International Airport jet noise soaring even higher, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

The new jet noise-reporting site racked up more than 2,000 O’Hare noise beefs in the first 24 hours after the Fair Allocation in Runways coalition, known as FAIR, announced its existence last Monday. That’s nearly 30 percent of what the city’s complaint system reported for the entire month of February 2014.

Last month, a test group of new website users logged more than twice the number of O’Hare jet noise beefs for the month as the city had compiled by phone and online the previous January, the website’s developer, Darrin Thomas, said Tuesday.

“I think there’s a good possibility that the numbers will continue to rise pretty dramatically,” said Thomas, a FAIR member.

The app-like website, at http://chicagnoisecomplaint.com, automatically forwards all complaints it receives about O’Hare or Midway jet noise to the city’s online reporting system.

And, in an unusual move, it features the unique ability to report a constant stream of planes — up to 80 over a two-hour period — in one quick visit.

FAIR members contend that the website should more accurately capture the impact of O’Hare jet noise since the big switch in O’Hare flight paths in October 2013 — a move intended to expand capacity and reduce delays.

Since then, roughly 70 percent of all planes approach O’Hare from the east, flying over the city, and depart to the west, impacting Bensenville, Wood Dale and Itasca. Many homeowners in those areas say they were blindsided by the blitz of new planes over their heads.

The new website follows complaints from three Illinois members of Congress, several suburban officials and FAIR members about the city’s current jet noise reporting system.

They contend beefs routed to Chicago’s 311 non-emergency number wind up dropped or trapped in irrelevant phone prompts.

The website allows access to users on a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop. Once a citizen uses the site, it automatically fills in some responses — such as the complainant’s name and email — during the user’s next visit. That means users can complete subsequent complaints in real time with as little as a single tap.

The site also lets homeowners report “multiple aircraft” occuring every 1 to 2 minutes; every 2 to 4 minutes; or every 4 to 6 minutes. And they can report that they were subjected to that frequency of flights for 30 minutes, an hour, 1 1/2 hours or 2 hours, Thomas said.

The site breaks a “multiple aircraft” report into individual beefs and sends each off to the city, using the average of any time span entered to determine the number of complaints it generates, Thomas said. So a report of a disruptive plane every 1 to 2 minutes over two hours would generate 80 complaints to the city with one hit on the “report” button.

“That’s the game-changer,” Thomas said. “It makes it so people can report every loud plane, rather than only the ones they have time to report.

“So I am expecting the numbers to skyrocket and give this issue the attention it deserves.”

By day, Thomas, 38, works as a website manager for Morningstar Inc., a Chicago-based financial research firm. He got the idea to put his Web skills to work on jet noise complaints after he noticed how cumbersome it was to report the multiple planes he saw while taking his dog for long walks in his Lincoln Square neighborhood in the 40th Ward.

“There are occasions where there are planes flying overhead every 40 seconds and instead of having to go to the website every 40 seconds and file yet another report, I’m allowing you, after an hour of this, to file multiple reports at one time,” Thomas said.

He said planes also wake him up in the middle of the night, when he’s too tired to report them. This too, is covered in the website, which allows users to indicate if the jet noise disturbed their sleep, an outside activity, a conversation or their “quality of life” in general. Although the current time automatically pops up in a complaint form, the time can be amended as needed for disruptive flights reported hours after they occurred.

The general locations of the most recent 200 or so complaints are available for viewing on the “About” tab of the website, as well as the total number of complaints filed within the last 24 hours, the last 7 days and the last month.

It was not clear how many of the first day’s beefs were mistakes by citizens experimenting with the website, or whether that volume of complaints would continue. But Thomas expected residents to adjust to the site quickly and for it to start reflecting a more accurate depiction of the impact of O’Hare and Midway jet noise “almost immediately.”

All complaints are automatically forwarded to the city’s jet noise website, while also allowing FAIR to retain a log of them, FAIR leader Jac Charlier said.

Previously, he said, citizens were “completely relying on what the city tells us about complaints. Now we have the data. It levels the playing field.”

During a meeting of the O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission last September, member and Harwood Heights Mayor Arlene Jezierny questioned if the city’s complaint tallies were accurate, given that she had failed about 20 times over a few months to get through on the hotline. Each time her call was routed to the city’s 311 number, where she said she got trapped in useless prompts for potholes and other problems.

At that same meeting, commission member and Schiller Park Mayor Barbara Piltaver questioned why complaints she made about the hotline in May 2014 had not been addressed.

In only a few months, Charlier said, FAIR was able to come up with a more modern and accurate version of the city’s online reporting system. It’s simplicity could persuade some 311 hotline callers to switch to using the website on their cellphones.

“The city apparently was not capable of taking a 1995 website and bringing it up to 2015 standards,” Charlier said. “It took us three to four months. It wasn’t that big a deal.

“If they care, they could have done it,” he said.

Last November, U.S. Reps. Mike Quigley, Jan Schakowsky and Tammy Duckworth, all Illinois Democrats, wrote then-City Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino asking that the city open a call-in line dedicated solely to jet noise beefs rather than rely on the 311 line for both city and suburban noise complaints.

Three months later, Quigley has yet to hear a response, a spokeswoman for the congressman said Tuesday.

“Our constituents in Chicago have told us repeatedly that their calls are dropped or not answered in a timely fashion,” the three representatives wrote to Andolino, who has since left her city post. “Our constituents from the suburbs are sometimes told their calls can’t be taken. It’s no wonder that many of our constituents feel that the very system put in place to record their concerns is simply ignoring them instead.”

Although Charlier has repeatedly accused Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel of being “missing in action” on the O’Hare jet noise issue, Charlier said the website’s release was not timed to coincide with the Feb. 24 mayoral election. It has been under development for several months, he said.

But FAIR officials are hoping more accurate jet noise numbers will trigger some solutions.

Monthly O’Hare jet noise complaints have soared to record numbers — over 30,000 in a month — since the new flight paths debuted, without much public talk about the issue by the mayor. Meanwhile, Chicago Department of Aviation reports regularly point out that many of the complaints are generated from a handful of homes — a comment some have blasted as unfairly dismissive.

“To me, 30,000 complaints in a month is significant but if it’s not significant enough to warrant a response, then let’s make it more accurate,” Thomas said. “If it turns into 100,000, that seems like a much more difficult number to ignore.”

City Hall and Chicago Department of Aviation representatives did not respond to emailed questions about what action the city had taken to improve its jet noise hotline following congressional and suburban mayoral complaints that date to last May.

But O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission executive director Jeanette Camacho said by email: “Complaint calls are very important to [the Commission] and we will continue to monitor and discuss improvements at our Technical Committee meeting.”


© Copyright 2015 Sun-Times Media, LLC 

TSA found 26 guns at Chicago airport checkpoints in 2014

(CHICAGO) Transportation Security Administration officials seized 26 guns that people tried to bring onto planes at Chicago’s airports last year.

In 2014, 20 guns were seized at the security checkpoint at O’Hare International Airport, according to end-of-year statistics released by the TSA and the Department of Homeland Security. Six guns were detected at the checkpoint at Midway International Airport.

The O’Hare total is up from 16 guns detected in 2013, while the Midway number dropped from the previous year’s 13, the TSA said.

Nationwide, 2,212 firearms were found in carry-on bags at security checkpoints, and 83 percent of those were loaded, the TSA said.

While it is legal to travel with firearms, TSA regulations require that weapons be kept unloaded in a hard-sided, locked case within checked luggage. Passengers must also declare any packed guns to the airlines.

© Copyright 2015 Sun-Times Media, LLC