Not a scientific survey here, but we're sure that many drone pilots love the free-range possibilities of flying most anywhere they want (that's legal).
The idea of a tether connected to a drone like some kid's balloon is probably a less-than-awesome thought. But tethered drones—unmanned aerial vehicles connected to a power station via a tether—are already very popular in the commercial section, and defense analysts foresee them as essential elements in future military operations.
To understand the uses of tethered drones we must comprehend the limitations of their untethered counterparts.
Fight time. The flight ceiling can be averaged at 30 minutes, limiting continuous applications of drone technology over extended periods. In some professions temporarily halting your mission to land the drone, swap its batteries, then send it out again is not feasible.
Safety. A predictable aerial presence is beneficial in unfolding situations such as festivals, natural emergencies, crowd monitoring, etc. However, despite their amazing technology, accidents do happen with drones. In comparison, tethered drones prevent a situation where the drone flies away and leads to injury.
Ease of use. Tethered drones are static, offering users some situational awareness at the click of a button. In other words, you do not need advanced drone flying skills to operate one.
Autonomy. Tethered drones offer autonomous flight allowing the operators to focus on their observation mission more than on the piloting of the drone. Tether drones operate up to 300 feet above ground level. Tethered UAS are allowed use by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Flexible legislation. Legislation around tethered drones is flexible as several rules on commercial drones do not apply. For instance, in some countries, tethered drones are not classified as drones given their stationery positioning while connected to the ground. In other countries, users of tethered drone systems are not mandated to have them registered as their free-flying counterparts.
Limited spatial area. A tethered UAS operates within a limited spatial area restricted by the tether. It is for that reason one does not need a trained pilot to operate a tethered drone. GPS navigation is not required, reducing the incidences of crashing while covering a wide spatial area.
Safe data transfer. While free-flying drones may occasionally lose their data links to interrupted flights or lost data links, tethered drones benefit from an uninterrupted yet secure line of communication between the ground station and the aircraft. Smart options are secure and great for sensitive communications.
Deterrence. Tethered drones are an overt deterrence mechanism.
Safety. When operating a drone in public areas, safety is paramount. Tethered drones offer greater reliability than other market alternatives.