Darren Lake, Acting Editor of UNMANNED Vehicles, an arms trade magazine for for the drone industry makes some suprizingly candid admissions in his August/September 2012 issue editorial...
" In the UK, the recent experiences of one UAS conference, which was scared away from its original venue after protests, were also depressingly familiar. In this regard UAVs have become the favourite totem to be knocked down by a section of the peace movement'.
While the aspirations of the movement are to be admired. as most warfighters would agree, the fixation of this fringe element with the technology often leads them to miss the point.
Many people would agree that the policy of targeted assassination carried out by the US in Pakistan and elsewhere has been taken too far and is tantamount to extra-judicial killings.
UAVs do to some extent, enable this policy, but the same could be achieved with a manned system. Israel manages a similar type of capability without resorting to UAVs.
While such ingrained attitudes continue to prevail, it is likely to be difficult for the unmanned community to achieve the wider acceptance needed to gain access to civil airspace. While the industry is effectively engaged with the technical and regulatory challenges, the message seems to be far less clear when it comes to cultural issues.
Attitudes change, but that takes time and a clear, honest, coherent conversation by all sides. What you say, when you say it and who you say it to matters.
Darren Lake, Acting Editor "
Unmanned Vehicles. Volume 17. Number 4. August/September 2012. (p.3)