That's the grand irony, of course; statistically, I'm sure that the noise from a light aircraft is much less
onerous over the long-term than noise from cars or motorbikes outside their property. In fact, I can tell you that it is, having spent 2 years of my life working with the ANCON model for acoustics in aviation:https://www.caa.co.uk/Consumers/Environ ... g-process/
Perhaps a good starting point is a question: what are complainants really bothered about? Is it noise? From the aircraft? Vehicles? Is it privacy from overflying? Is it fear of being involved in an accident on their property? Is it just a general annoyance with somebody having fun in a perceived 'posh' way?
I may be completely wrong, but I don't think I have ever seen any data that actually tries to understand what the objections are to general aviation from NIMBYs; we (the GA sector) try to apply catch-all solutons (like noise abatement areas, avoiding run-ups etc). Perhaps if we could empathise with those who don't like us, we can apply tailored solutions to address concerns. A perception that flying is only for rich people has a different solution to the perception that aircraft are disturbing someone's peace and quiet.
The reason I say that is because - objectively, scientifically, statistically - I believe noise is not the real issue. Or at least, pure decibels. There is much to it than that; rather than simply 'absorb' the complaint all the time and create these NAAs - which merely reaffirms the perception that GA is noisy - why can't we use evidence to prove that it is not and move the discussion onto the real reason why people don't like GA?
I suspect the real problem underneath is that a small group of people don't like the idea that someone else is having fun - and that the method they use for having fun appears to them rather elitist and potentially dangerous to them and their property. So, they use noise as a very easy stick to push GA around with.
Where are the national-level campaigns showcasing the accessibility of aviation? Where are the outreach campaigns to get flying into schools? Where's the messaging that shows how safe aviation is? Where's the push to demonstrate that you're more impacted by the noise from a motorbike speeding round the country lanes than you are by a light aircraft passing quickly over at circuit height?
We constantly pander to the NIMBYs here and the consequence of that is that it allows them to get on the front-foot? Where's the fightback? Why so apologetic?