Before we can break the mold of common drone misconceptions and misinformed biases, we must first have an understanding of what they are. As the legendary samurai Miyamoto Musashi put it, “Know your enemy, know his sword.”
Now of course, the general populace is by no means an enemy in any sense, but to overcome negative portrayals and unfavorable stances, a deeper degree of empathy is required. For those on the outside looking in, drones can be a little confusing. When breaking news reports about drones being used to compromise airport security are released, the case for drone viability only weakens. Add to that the real risks involved with identity theft and stigmas related to the malicious capabilities of drones (i.e. spying, boundary infringement, and military drone strikes), and the effort to dispel drone disparagement suffers even more.
The Pew Research Center gathered some enlightening insights on public drone opinion in late 2017. Some findings from the survey give credence to societies mistrust of drones. “Asked how they would feel if they saw a drone flying close to where they live, relatively large shares of Americans say they would be curious (58%) or interested (45%). At the same time, around one-in-four (26%) say they would be nervous, and around one-in-ten say this would make them feel angry (12%) or scared (11%).”
From those statistics, we understand that drone activities done in close proximity to people’s personal property can stir up unsettling attention. That 1 in 10 people would be either angry or scared pinpoints the dire necessity of why drone pilots need to take their jobs seriously. We don’t have the liberty to freely roam about society like your friendly neighborhood mail carrier. Fifty four percent of the public thinks drones should not be allowed to fly near private homes. Only 11% think they should, while 34% think it is OK, but only in certain circumstances.
So what’s a drone pilot to do, especially a commercial drone pilot with a job to perform? Maybe it’s a real estate imagery task, and you need to fly close to neighboring homes. Do you fold up your props and cede to the chagrin of stirring up strife amongst citizens?
Perhaps, but only if you lack the confidence of a true professional. But if you take your job seriously, and consider yourself a professional drone pilot (if you’re reading this, I assume you do), you’ll do otherwise and take the appropriate action to substantiate the merit of your mission.
The first step? Get Part 107 Licensed. That’s something we’re experts at Consortiq. Our award-winning (AUVSI Xcellence) Part 107 Drone training courses can take you from Part 107 novice to pro. Take our courses online or in person, but don’t delay – your ability to sway public opinion on the viability and trustworthiness of drones as a solution rather than a sinister menace depends on it.
Next week I’ll expand more on why a Part 107 license is only the first step to becoming a reputable drone professional.
Stephen Glaus Bio
Stephen’s career is characterized by change and flexibility. Since his departure from military service with the U.S. Army in 2013, he has had numerous roles, from suburban mail delivery, to gun store retail management , and then to Afghanistan as a civilian drone operator. During this transitionary period, he also worked full time to complete both his bachelor’s and master’s degree in business.
Having found his footing within the commercial UAS industry, Stephen’s drone experience includes long-endurance military aircraft, engineering developmental aircraft, as well as traditional quadcopter variants. With an insatiable drive for excellence and an unrelenting passion for helping others, Stephen is excited to pave the pathway forward and guide organizations to safe and efficient drone operations.