With the new FAA regulations on Remote ID and flying over people, commercial drone use is set to take off, and some states are more prepared for the rise of the drone industry. The Mercatus Center at George Mason University ranked each state and released a 50-state report card.
Top 5 Most prepared states for the drone industry:
- South Dakota
States least prepared for commercial drones:
- Rhode Island
The Mercatus Center ranked each state according to the following five factors:
- Airspace lease law (30 points): Drone highways must be demarcated by regulators and safely separated from airports, homes, schools, and other sensitive locations. Leasing airspace above public property would accelerate drone services because creating flight paths over backyards and private lands raises issues about the taking of private property.
- Law vesting air rights with landowners (10 points): This clarifies that the state is exercising its police powers and defining property rights—and puts drone operators and residents on notice about the extent of those rights. Where state or local authorities own public rights-of-way, air rights laws recognize their property interest in the aerial corridors above public roads.
- Avigation easement law (25 points): This allows drones to operate as long as they are high enough not to bother landowners and passersby. If the state or municipality does not own aerial corridors above public roads, drones can still generally access the aerial easements if state officials demarcate drone highways above public roads.
- Drone task force or program office (20 points): These bodies help anticipate (and address) issues such as zoning rules, noise limits, time-of-day restrictions, insurance, and privacy for private dwellings.
- Drone jobs estimate (15 points): The number of drone jobs per 100,000 residents is a proxy for soft factors (e.g., a college offering drone programs or workers in the aerospace industry) that can position states for future jobs and services growth.
Find out more about U.S. state drone laws- 911 Security publishes an annual report that compiles all the drone laws in all the states in the United States. You can download a PDF version of 911 Security’s report here.