Widespread use of UAV or not? That is a question

Nowadays, with the high speed development of the technology, unmanned aero vehicles (UAV) are commonly used in both military requirements and civil applications. UAV are defined as aircrafts that can navigate without pilots[1]. With the trend of shooting movies or media products by UAV, more people are now getting familiar with it and considering buy one for entertainment. However, criminals using UAV and other potential risks have arouse people’s concern. This article will discuss whether should popularize the UAV in terms of relative moral problems.

The Positive Statement of UAV Popularization

Popularization of UAV will benefit in both areas with great advantages. Besides, with rapidly development of UAV techniques in recent years has make relative products continue to mature, they are increasingly accepted by more people and therefore establish a new market. According to a report by AUVSI, this market has a huge potential to offer over 100,000 jobs within a decade [2].

UAV are first utilized for military purpose, they are sent to field where are considered as difficult or dangerous place for manned flight to minimize the unnecessary casualties. The popularization of UAV would lead to less unnecessary casualties, less pilot training cost and  more accurate attack rate in wars, especially the war on terror. They are employed as powerful and accurate military machines to do variety of jobs such as detection, monitoring and attacking with absolute obedience. The global trends in terrorism have been considered as uncertain safety factors for all human beings and the popularization of UAV could be employed as an effective tools to fight terrorism. One representative example is the USA government, in early 2002, had started to use UAV to attack the terrorist leader of the Taliban and al-Qaeda militants in the Afghanistan and Pakistan’s tribal areas.[3]

Meanwhile, they are also being utilized in geomatics or many other civil applications. UAV have played a crucial role in rescue operations in natural and manmade disasters. They are ideal detective tools to be sent to the scene without risking the safety of rescue teams. They can collect data such as the location of victim, the damage situation and potential threats in first time.  Also, it is more convenient for relevant institutes to monitor the local environment conditions, such as detecting atmospheric pollution. Especially for those heavy industrial districts, environment institutes can easily monitor the ambient air pollution index instead of being limited in a small area by using UAV. Moreover, they could be utilized to Support for law enforcement. For example, searching for criminal suspects, lost person, or helping with accident investigations. Besides, several delivery companies has been developing in using UAV to achieve faster delivery time with less human cost [4]. In addition, UAV can give media access to hard-to-reach places where conventional media is impossible due to limitation by traffic or any geographical factors and demonstrate a high resolution video [2].

Normally, technology development will bring more convenient and interesting life for people. UAV, as the crystallisation of science and technology, with so many benefits and advantages in various fields, are worthy to be popularized to the world.

The Negative Statement of UAV Popularization

In these days, the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) appears into public’s spotlight frequently. But the problem is, should the use of UAV become popularization? As this technology get involved to our lives, the problem it caused are emerging as well.

There are several issues of UAV, the first one is air safety. The data point that a growing number of UAV influence the normal operation of commercial aircraft by flying to close to them. The report from the Federal Aviation Administration shows there are more than 650 pilots had reported seeing UAV in 2015 which much increasing from 238 in 2014. This cause not only financial loss but also the danger of life safety.[5]

Another one is improper use of UAV. There are many cases that UAVs are used as tools of candid camera, transporters of drug and even weapons for attacking others. The severer event that some of the country’s presidential palace had been invaded. For example, an UAV broke and crashed at the White House South Lawn on 27th Jan. 2015.[6] On 22th of April 2015, a fallen four-rotor small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was mounted on the top floor of the Prime Minister’s house in Japan.[7]

Also, there has less laws and regulations that particularly aim at UAV. The increasing number of UAV and lacking protection will easily lead to accidents.  Professional training may also needed for users of UAV since poor skill of control is a factor of crash of UAV.

Moreover, the technique of UAV is still under development. There are many serious accidents are attributed to the technical questions, including the accidentally injure caused by military UAV. A report from the United Nations investigators shows that the UAV ordered by US air force strike in Pakistan lead to death of at least 400 citizens and about 200 death might not be militants, the statement of accurate strike become unreliable.[8] Since the power of UAV is supplied by battery, the crash of UAV will also result in environmental pollution.

Additionally, according to the researches, when UAVs are flying, a large amount of noise can be produced, which influences individuals’ lives.

Although UAV do have some help on research and convenience, with considering about the public’s benefit, its’ popularization need to be controlled. So the government should introduce the relevant laws and policies that limit the quantity and use of UAV such as the specific area, time and purpose of flying also the requirement for users. This will maximally protect people’s life and property safety.


1] Dictionary (2014) , Available at: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/uav

[2] SRI International (2013) 5 Benefits of Drones (UAS) That Might Surprise You, Available at: https://www.sri.com/blog/5-benefits-drones.

[3] G. Peter (2009) Drone aircraft in a stepped-up war in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Available at: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Military/2009/1211/Drone-aircraft-in-a-stepped-up-war-in-Afghanistan-and-Pakistan

[4] Domino’s (2016) Pizza-by-drone a reality with world-first customer deliveries in New Zealand, Available at: https://www.dominos.com.au/inside-dominos/media/november-2016-pizza-by-drone-a-reality-with-world-first-customer-deliveries-in-new-zealand

[5] B.Kennedy (2015) 5 issues drones will have to navigate Available at: http://www.cbsnews.com/media/5-issues-drones-will-have-to-navigate/2/

[6] B.Jansen (2015) Drone crash at White House reveals security risks Available at: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/01/26/drone-crash-secret-service-faa/22352857/

[7] Reuters (2015) Drone with ‘minuscule’ quantity of radiation found on Japan PM’s office roof: media Available at: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-japan-nuclear-drone-idUSKBN0ND09M20150422

[8] C.Woods (2011) Drone War Exposed – the complete picture of CIA strikes in Pakistan Available at: https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/stories/2011-08-10/drone-war-exposed-the-complete-picture-of-cia-strikes-in-pakistan

Group 46: Shawn, Steven, Gordon, Yao Ji


28 thoughts on “Widespread use of UAV or not? That is a question

  1. it seems that widespread of UAV may cause large economic in some dangerous countries . so what kinds of policy can government publish?


  2. I think the registration and supervised of UAV are necessary. In my city, there has been
    several airplane delays caused by UAV’s on purpose occupy flight path.


  3. Nice article. I have a friend who bought a UAV as a tool of photographer. The UAV was shot down while he using it at the Edinburgh castle by signal inteference. It seems like that his little toy flied to a personal UAV forbidden place and then shot by the military. Just like the ariticle mentioned, the main problen for now is how to control this device, or will relative policy come out. The popularisation of UAV need is a tendenxy but with certain control policy.
    Again, well done.


    1. Thanks for your comment. I’m sorry for what happened to your friend. Yes, I think it is due to your friend did not know the forbidden area and the government apparently did not make a very clear sign about it.


  4. Do you consider the effect of UAV on aircraft? it is said that some people use UAV to disturb the normal landing of aircraft, as well as taking off, so how can you avoid this action? if government publish some laws to prevent this action, it is still difficult for aviation company to take actions to monitor such a large area. Also, it may cause noise and affect the our daily life. Does it exist any noiseless UAV now?


    1. No, I don’t see that coming for now.

      We mentioned the effect of UAV to aircraft taking off in the article. And this is one of the reasons why we should come up a certain policy to control these personal UAVs.


  5. it is said that people use UAV to record a video of super bowl and to live streaming illegally. it cause a huge sum economic lost for those tv station who has copyright. also, as u mentioned so many disadvantages of UAV,so, is it necessary to reduce the progress of widespread of YAV before some serious laws come out? in terms of the advantages, it is good for military to equip many UAV used in wars, but it will cause many unnecessary death and cause very important moral problems, how is it possible to avoid that?


  6. It was ironic that UAV, which is designed to counter terrorist precisely with the unnecessary death, actually caused a lot of civilians casualties in Pakistan. Just like you mentioned in the article, I think every new technology should not put into use until been fully developed.
    Of course, the military application seems distant from us, the use of commercial UAVs worth more attentions. Although the UAV bring us a lot of conveniences in many ways like photographing, it may sometimes bother us with privacy issues. No one wants to be monitoring and I do know someone will amuse with that. Certain policy must be published as soon as possible.
    Good to learn so much thing. Great work.


  7. The standard of widespread wasn’t clear, it would be better to define it with probable number or ratio. Now people can buy UAVs from everywhere, how could you control it? Would you restrict customer, trader or producer? If the damage caused by military UAV is actually serious , how could you persuade the military to stop using them? As you said the UAV really help the military so I think they won’t give it up easily.


  8. In general, I support the UVA usage and the positives of UVA is more than the negatives. Any technology development is human progress.
    Although more and more negatives appear in the society, such as privacy disclosure, airline disturbance due to UVA. I think this can be solved by forming the effective related law and enhance and publicize the regulation although it will take some time in this process


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