ARPAS-UK has received a response from the BBC
to the complaint we filed regarding their recent documentary – ‘Horizon: Britain’s Next Air Disaster? Drones’.
We are disappointed that the BBC have not responded to the issues raised and have sent a generic letter to all of the complaints they received which defends their Horizon program without admitting any fault, or offering an apology to our members. They have continued to cherry pick information in their response and have again painted a very one-sided view of the risks drones pose to the public. They have still failed to acknowledge that drones used by qualified operators reduce net risk, and have an excellent safety record. The programme focused on making sensational claims with what a lot of complaints have categorised as using incorrect data or biased information all presented as facts. This unfortunately is not unique to the BBC as we have seen similar inaccuracies in other press stories, and in evidence given to the recent select committee.
Accurate and unbiased reporting should be the standard behaviour of any reputable reporting and we do not believe the show achieved this.
So what happens next?
Regards this current issue we will support others who have agreed they will continue the complaint with the BBC.
Secondly we hope that any future programs that the BBC
chooses to air will provide a more balanced view of the use of drones and the opportunity they provide with regards to safer, faster, more efficient and cost effective solutions in the many areas they operate. ARPAS will continue to offer assistance to the BBC
to ensure that they are offering the public a balanced picture of the risks versus the benefits. We would also be delighted to put them in touch with our members who can give them specific examples where drones are reducing risks and saving lives. ARPAS will continue to lead by example by promoting the range of benefits drones bring to our communities. From helping to save people’s lives in search and rescue missions, reducing the number of people working at height, and removing people from dull, dirty and dangerous working environments. Areas of current use include oil rigs, construction sites and railways to name but a few. We hope that the BBC
will follow our lead on this important matter, and help this growing industry reach its life changing potential.
ARPAS is collecting stories of drone use cases that demonstrate the range of benefits that the technology offers. We again ask that anyone with stories contact us so we can publish them to a wider audience. We are working on a number of initiatives to improve communication with both industry organisations and the general public. It doesn’t matter if the story is old or has been published before, it will still be relevant and will help us to sway public perception in a positive direction.