Resources

FAQ: Above us only drones? Expanding drone use in the UK: safety, privacy and security concerns 

July 2021

This FAQ explores what’s going on with increasing drone use in the UK. Key concerns include the need to protect privacy, ensure safety and provide accountability. 

Download the FAQ below:

Factsheet:  A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing – The threat posed by ‘Protector’ at home and abroad

July 2021 

This factsheet provides key facts about the UK’s next generation armed drone, called Protector. It also highlights the costs and risks involved in the UK’s use of large military drones at home and abroad.

Download the factsheet below:

Research report: Above us only drones?

The safety and privacy risks of the coming expansion of drone use in the UK, May 2021

This report provides a critical review of the UK Government’s efforts to accelerate the integration of a wider range and number of unmanned aerial vehicles—commonly known as drones—into UK airspace. Download the report below:

Watch our webinar discussing the report

The expert panel for this event explored the different ways drones are – and could be – used in the UK, and discussed the costs, risks and benefits of our airspace being opened up so that drones can fly freely alongside other aircraft.

Chair: Ann Feltham (Board Member, Drone Wars UK) @ann_feltham

Panel: Bruno Oliveira Martins (Senior Researcher, PRIO) @BrunoOMartins7

Tim Street (Coordinator: UK Drone Watch) @UKDroneWatch1

Chris Cole (Director: Drone Wars UK) @Drone_Wars_UK


Public opinion polling data: Drones Survey, January 2021

Public, civil society and expert concerns about drones being used in the UK focus on safety, privacy and security. A poll UK Drone Watch conducted earlier this year of 2,000 adults regarding proposals to open UK skies to drones that fly ‘beyond visual line of sight’ found that: 

51% were worried about noise and intrusion 

60% said they were worried about the privacy and civil liberties implications 

67% said they were worried about safety implications 

70% agreed that if such drones were allowed to be flown in the UK, they should be flown in segregated airspace away from other aircraft.

You can view and download the full results of the poll below:


Briefing: Protector the UK’s next generation armed drone

This briefing provides a critical overview of the UK’s next generation armed drone / unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Protector, beginning by considering the reasons behind its acquisition and its core capabilities.

The briefing then reviews some of the key issues involved in the programme, focusing on the associated costs, benefits and risks, and then on the ethical, legal, human rights and safety concerns involved in the decision to allow Protector to fly in UK airspace.

Download the briefing below:

Detect and avoid technology for drones: what is it? A beginner’s guide

Detect and avoid (DAA) systems play a fundamentally important role in integrating drones into a national airspace system. Unlike crewed aircraft, drones do not have an on-board pilot who is able to spot potential hazards, ensure that the aircraft keeps at a distance from such hazards, and take action to avoid a collision.

DAA systems are intended to provide a technological solution to this problem. They are a critical safety feature for drones flying in shared airspace, including international airspace, and their effectiveness and reliability are key concerns to airspace regulators.

This beginner’s guide provides an overview of the key technical and regulatory issues involved in DAA. Download the guide below:

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