At many airports around the world people complaining about aircraft noise have stood in the way of the development of the aviation sector. Movement caps, curfews or other time-related operating restrictions, restrictions on noisy aircraft, and restrictions on where aircraft can fly have all limited the capacity of airports to work as efficiently and effectively as they might. Despite such constraints, demand for aviation services continues to grow. Given the valued, indeed critical, contribution of aviation to communities and economies it is imperative that the forecast growth is managed in a sustainable way that acknowledges the noise impacts borne by some for the general good of all. By embracing aircraft noise complaints, we gain insight into the best path to achieving a sustainable and balanced future for aviation.