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What society think about future flight technologies

gray plane wing
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Emerging aviation technology in the UK, as well as its future development, is being heavily influenced by public dialogue and discussion.

The public can now have a say in the new developments of aviation technology thanks to Landmark’s public dialogue and the funding for future research.

The Future Flight Challenge commissioned the report, which was financed by UKRI’s Sciencewise initiative. It offers a unique perspective on people’s aspirations, expectations, and fears concerning the likely future operations of three types of future flying technology for civilian use:


white drone flying

“Air taxis”

flight nature flying beach

“Eco planes”

While participants acknowledged the potential and promise of these technologies, their support was contingent on more research before public investment in these technologies is increased.

In general, many participants were more concerned about their problems than the possible advantages, with participants citing concerns about a variety of topics, including:

  •  Concerns about cybersecurity, notably the hacking of automated cars,
  • Privacy and data protection, to limit access into and video recording of people’s private and domestic life
  •  Personal safety and accidents as the skies get busier and more populated
  •  Governance, regulation, and licensing to purposely limit “uncontrolled commercialization of future flying technology”
  • Environmental concerns, in order to ensure that these technologies are greener than current methods. Among these concerns were:
  • Concerns about accessibility and cost, given the potential to worsen inequality
  • Consequences for wildlife and biodiversity
  •   Air pollution, visual pollution, and noise pollution

However, there were some outliers where individuals saw the potential for drones, ‘air taxis,’ and other aviation technology to improve UK lives in the future. Participants may have been more receptive of their deployment as a result of these deviations. These included enhancing:

Emergency medical and humanitarian assistance infrastructure or access to products or services in rural or isolated UK areas regional connection throughout the UK public transportation’s environmental credentials and sustainability

It is also permitted to assess and repair important infrastructure, such as storm damage to trains and electrical lines.

Participants suggested that research in this area be expanded to incorporate a greater spectrum of public and specialist viewpoints. To expand on this, the Economic and Social Research Council is funding an additional £1.8 million in social science research under the Future Flight Challenge.

The money will enable the UK to better understand how more integrated aviation systems and technology may result in a variety of social and economic advantages for the UK.

This research will allow for more involvement with communities across the United Kingdom to better understand how these technologies might be produced in a way that responds to genuine societal needs, concerns, or expectations.

Drawing on public feedback will allow for a better understanding of how the social advantages of these new technologies may be made available to all members of UK society.

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