O'Hare Noise Complaints Soar After New Runway Opens

"We cannot live like this," residents say

Yolanta and Chester Gorniak, Bensenville residents for 27 years, loved their neighborhood. Then everything changed last October, when O’Hare International Airport opened Runway 10-C.

"We can't sleep, we can't talk," Yolanta Gorniak said. "I can't fix a meal because I am shaking. I don't know what I put in my pot. We are so frustrated and we can't live like that."

"In my opinion it is not possible to live like that," Chester Gorniak said. "My condition right now is not too good."

According to the City’s Department of Aviation, noise complaints have soared at O’Hare, from more than 21,000 in 2012 to more than 29,000 last year. This year to date there are almost 25,000 with 60 percent in March coming from 12 addresses in Bensenville, situated under a flight path.

"This all started when this runway opened," Bensenville resident Frieda Bruessard said. "Of course we had noise before. We were dealing with it. OK, we live near the airport. But no longer. This is getting to be too much."

Neighbors say the noise is bad enough at mid-day, but the problem gets worse in the evenings and all through the night.

Gabriella Slowik said she worries about her daughter, Victoria. "I worry because she can be nervous in the future because we cannot live like this."

Dr. Winston Mazakis lives in a condo building that doesn't get much attention now because of the noise.

"Now people come to buy one of our apartments and once they see the airplanes, they turn around and walk away. They don't even talk anymore. They have made the price of our apartments zero." 

Most of these residents say they want the city to do what it has done in other parts of Bensenville and buy their houses so they can move on.

"The runway is not going to go away," resident Barry Landstrom said. "I think they should do some kind of compensation for people who own the homes in the area and let people move out because they didn't take that into consideration when they first put it in."

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