The number of homes soundproofed near O'Hare International Airport will double in the next eight years, starting with 1,000 slated for the upgrades Friday.
The O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission approved the 1,000 homes as the beginning of a 6,000-home soundproofing plan required under the airport's $7.5 billion expansion.
Under federal rules, the homes must be soundproofed by the time the expansion is completed in 2013 or 2014. The homes are in Bensenville, Des Plaines, Rosemont, Chicago, Wood Dale, Schiller Park and Park Ridge.
The new, parallel runway layout will change flight patterns, thus affecting where jet noise is most annoying. The FAA conducted a noise analysis on the expansion and outlined where soundproofing is needed.
Under a previous soundproofing program, which lasted more than a decade and ends this year, about 5,900 homes received the noise mitigation upgrades. For the new program, the FAA will foot 80 percent of the $140 million tab with Chicago paying the remaining 20 percent through passenger charges at the airport.
Each home in the designated area will qualify for a new soundproofing package of either new doors and windows or new windows and heating and air-conditioning systems.
"We will be on a very aggressive schedule," said Brian Gilligan, commission director.
A list of qualified homes will be at the Web site next week.
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By 2013, close to 6,000 homes in Chicago and the near northwest suburbs are to receive free insulation against noise generated by new flight patterns at O'Hare.
Residents who now qualify for free soundproofing could face several more years awakening to the rumble of jets, without any hope of government relief.
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