Companies seeking to enable the routine use of surveillance drones across Britain are planning a long-term public relations effort to counter the negative image of the controversial aircraft.
The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems Association (UAVSA), a trade group that represents the drone industry to the UK government, has recommended drones deployed in Britain should be shown to “benefit mankind in general”, be decorated with humanitarian-related advertisements, and be painted bright colours to distance them from those used in warzones, details from a UAVSA presentation show.
Plans are also under way to establish corridors of segregated airspace to fly drones – or UAVs – between restricted “danger zones” (airspace where test flights take place) in isolated parts of England and Wales.
A series of presentations given by industry figures in recent months show public opposition is considered a major hurdle. UAVSA has discussed how it could use the media to disseminate favourable stories, creating a narrative that presents the introduction of drones in the UK as part of a “national mission”.