Saint Leo Poll Results Capture the Buzz about Drones

January 06, 2016

The Saint Leo University Polling Institute confirmed the American public’s fascination with drones the very same week that the Federal Aviation Administration made news by laying down the law about personal use of the aerial devices. Drones were widely expected to be purchased as holiday or 2015 Christmas gifts, and retailers stocked shelves accordingly. The FAA made it plain on December 13—and continues to stress—that people have to fly by certain rules.

The Saint Leo University Polling Institute found that more than one-third of Americans surveyed—35.1 percent—want someday to have a drone of their own. More than 1,000 adults were polled online between November 29 and December 3, 2015. Among those interested in having a drone, more than 73 percent said the biggest appeal was having “a fun hobby—more advanced than a model airplane.”

Still, the survey also revealed another view among Americans: concerns that drones could be intrusive or hazardous.

The content of FAA announcement on December 13 coincided with some of the leading worries articulated. The regulator announced that people who operate drones for personal use would have to register the devices. The FAA also took the opportunity to stress its regulations that limit how high and how far people can fly their drones.

Stories about drones and their regulation were widely reported in regional and national media. The Washington Post, Tampa public radio affiliate WUSF-FM, The Tampa Tribune, and other news outlets referred to the polling institute’s work to place the news in context.

The polling institute created the accompanying infographics to communicate the survey findings visually.

In addition, the results are here in a text format.