Public perception of drones

A 12-month deliberative programme of insight was carried out to inform the development of an effective communications framework to drive public acceptance of increased drone usage in UK airspace. ​ Connected Places Catapult, in partnership with Trinity McQueen set out to establish how communications can drive public acceptance of increased drone usage in the UK.

This was done by:


  • Defining the current perception of drones to establish knowledge and acceptance levels, identify key barriers to address to drive positive perceptions
  • Improving public understanding of drones to identify how best to improve public knowledge of drones so that misperceptions / concerns are allayed, benefits clearly communicated, helping to increase positive sentiment
  • Optimise engagement and communications to create guidance for ways in which to engage the general public – e.g. what to say, how to say it and where to say it

The following use cases & applications were used and tested in the research:


  • Security & law enforcement
  • Commercial parcel delivery​
  • Keeping people safe​
  • Infrastructure / construction
  • Filming for leisure
  • Agriculture / mining​
  • Transport of medical supplies ​
  • Traffic monitoring

The majority of use cases generated a positive sentiment, especially those where personal benefit is clear and obvious.​

Overall, there is a great opportunity to build compelling communications to ease the roll-out of drone technology​.


Promoting Drones for Good – A Communications Plan
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