- Advocacy & Policy
- Research Center
MYTH: UAS are dangerous to manned aircraft and people on the ground.
REALITY: Industry is advancing technology that enables a UAS operator to have a similar situational awareness to a pilot physically in the cockpit. In fact, there are cases in which the UAS pilot has better situational awareness. This capability, called “sense and avoid,” will demonstrate that UAS can be operated safely in the same airspace as manned aircraft.
MYTH: They are best suited to military use.
REALITY: UAS are used now for law enforcement, forest fire monitoring, wildlife monitoring and a variety of other civilian tasks. NOAA has used the Aerosonde UAS the past 6 years as a hurricane hunter, and trained geophysicists are using UAS systems to predict the location of mineral deposits. UAS have been utilized to help save lives in cases of natural disaster. The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International predicts high demand for agricultural UAS that will be able to spray crops with herbicide and pesticide and offers access to cheap, timely data on crop health.
MYTH: UAS do not represent a significant aeronautical market.
REALITY: Of the 1,581 UAS types built in 2012 - 2, 377 were built in the U.S. Among those, the number of UAS types procured for civil use rose from 55 in 2005 to 217 last year.
MYTH: UAS represent a privacy threat.
REALITY: Privacy concerns are similar to those related to surveillance by manned aircraft and any handheld or static device capable of capturing imagery. But unlike smart phone video content, UAS surveillance missions and the information they generate will likely be highly regulated – by multiple government agencies and under laws protecting privacy and due process.