Sound, noise, annoyance? Information as a means to strengthen the public acceptance of civil drones



Civil drones are becoming ever more present in public perception. Ranging from parcel delivery to wildlife protection and from precision farming to law enforcement, many applications are said to have market-changing potential. Against this background, nations and institutions around the world are trying to keep up with the dynamic technological developments by means of rules and regulations. Since all parties involved expect a strong increase in both the number of drones and the range of their uses, there is a rising interest in the public acceptance of these vehicles. Widespread acceptance can promote the dissemination of new technologies. Conversely, citizens’ concerns about the use of drones in their daily environment may pose barriers to the further proliferation of civil drones, especially in urban areas. The psychoacoustic properties of the vehicles have repeatedly been discussed as being one such limiting factor. This paper discusses results of a representative national study on the social acceptance of civil drones, taking a closer look at effects of information about drones as potential means to foster public acceptance. The findings underline the role of well planned information campaigns as well as community engagement in managing the contribution of drones in future urban soundscapes.