As a member of the drone community, when I read the news daily, I’m regularly scanning the news headlines for anything drone or UAS related. As the article references below notes, most of the stories we read have a negative tinge.
In the past week, DJI and drone technology more generally have had some pretty bad publicity in the UK media. The first incident involved (yet another) drone pilot reportedly flying too close to an airport – in this case London Gatwick – and causing commercial flights to be diverted.
The key word here is reportedly, because although the story can be found in plenty of reputable news outlets, including the BBC, there is little more than passenger testimony to go by. It wasn’t that long ago that a similar ‘near-miss’ drone incident at London Heathrow turned out to be a flying plastic bag.
The problem that policy experts and communications directors working in the drone industry are going to have to get used to is this: negative drone stories sell. Dangerous drones make for great headlines. Fear gets clicks.
A major concern I have is that this negative publicity will lead to more regulations, and if you’ve read this blog before, you know I prefer education over regulation, ever time. So do your part as a member of the drone community and help use promote safe flying.