Aviation study offers solutions to noise complaints near Rockford airport

Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 10:29 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - As the Chicago-Rockford International airport (RFD) gets busier it also gets noisier, causing major concerns for residents who live near by.

To help address some of these issues, the Greater Rockford Airport Authority hosted a virtual forum Thursday allowing neighbors to sound off about the sound levels.

RFD has participated in these voluntary studies since the 1990s. The main focus of this current study is to reduce noise through mitigations like land use and project management.

An aviation consultant with Landrum and Brown shares the results of a noise analysis study at RFD. One recommendation of the years-long study is to develop a more formal process for people to send in their complaints.

“You can’t look at the website and say oh, there’s the number I called to make a noise complaint,” says aviation consultant Jesse Baker. “Just providing those types of functionalities for the communities to reach out and engage the airport is really what we would like to enhance.”

Vicki Moore has lived near the airport since the 1970s. She says the noise from the planes is noticeable from her home late at night. Moore says it’s quiet for her but says things could be better.

“If they could make it quieter it would be a blessing,” says Moore. “It sounded like a great big whoosh; like a noise like a vacuum.”

Rockford alderperson Aprel Prunty represents the ward that includes RFD. She believes the airport is doing its best to look at ways to reduce the noise.

“I’m appreciative of the airport providing this opportunity to citizens to gain some insights and share any concerns that they might have.”

The aviation consultants also recommend a sound installation program to pinpoint the noisiest areas near the airport.

“Having that ability to grow in size and create more revenue for the region is kind of what they would be wanting to do,” says Baker.

There will be a more formal public forum for people to hear about the final recommendations in the future. A date hasn’t been settled as of yet.