I am writing this hoping that someone in the know can address it and set me straight.
There was a piece on the news last week about an uptick in complaints about jet noise from people who live near O’Hare airport. One of the explanations for the increase was that there is an increase in use of the airport’s newest southern runway based on changing wind directions.
Maybe I am an idiot (all right, not maybe, I admit it, I am just an idiot), but how can you complain about jet noise when you live near an airport? It would seem to me that the people who have a right to complain are the ones who lived near O’Hare before it was built, but if you moved into a community near O’Hare after it was built, how could you think that you wouldn’t have jet noise living near what is sometimes the world’s busiest airport?
But even more confounding than complaining about the jet noise is what people want to be done about it. I imagine a call going like this:
Complainer: There is way too much jet noise over my house which is apparently in an approach path for O’Hare!
Complaint Taker: Okay, we will talk to the pilots about that.
We will work on getting mufflers on the planes.
Okay, we will make the planes stop flying over your house.
We will just close the airport.
What exactly is the end game in complaining about the jet noise? What do people want done about it? Or do they just want to complain? I imagine that it is that they just want to complain. People will complain about the dumbest things. One woman I know who lives kind of out in the country is friends with someone who lives near her who has cows. She told me that her friend actually fields complaints from people who get upset about the cows mooing too much. How does one complain about that with a straight face? “Listen, I was up before 6 this morning because your cows woke me up. They’re just mooing so much. They really shouldn’t be mooing that early in the morning. Can’t you get them to stop mooing? Or at least stop mooing so loudly?”
Planes. Cows. Complainers. The world is full of them.