We have a small airport here in the little town that I live. I remember that, many years back, there was a group of anti airport activists who wanted to shut it down. Fortunately, the folks at the airport reacted in the best way possible and started their “friends of the aiport” society, which did some really great PR work, without attacking the opposers, but focusing on a positive message. So the anti airport movement fizzled out soon.
But I think that they optimized the approach routes and traffic patterns too. An airport is part of the community, and it is important to listen to each others concerns. A lot can be done without going all confrontational and demanding the shutdown of an aiport.
I understand that there are legitimate concerns, and some people really suffer, e.g. when they build a new runway at a major hub and suddenly giant freight planes fly over your house throughout the whole night. I wouldn’t want that happening to me either! But then there are also people who buy cheap real estate next to a 100 year old aiport and then complain about the noise.
It’s a touchy subject. Although I guess I know where the bias in our readership will tend to lie! 🙂