Michigan | 2023 State Drone Commerce Scorecard

Michigan ranks 20th in its readiness for commercial drone services

Rank: 20 (tied)

Michigan tied with Ohio for 20th place in the 2023 State Drone Commerce Scorecard rankings. The state scored 41 out of 100 possible points in how prepared it is for commercial drone services.

The Six Factors Contributing to the Overall Score

A Score in Gray Indicates a Score Below the Median of All States

10 / 30

Airspace Lease Law
Michigan law allows local authorities to lease low-altitude airspace above local roads, which allows local officials to create drone highways above these roadways. However, the law is silent as to whether state officials can lease airspace above state roads.

/ 25

Avigation Easement Law
Michigan law does not create an avigation easement, which means drone operators may be subject to nuisance and trespass laws, even if their drones do not disturb people on the ground.

20 / 20

Task Force or Program Office
Governor Gretchen Whitmer created the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification. The office develops policy recommendations on the operation, use, and regulation of drones.

10 / 10

Michigan’s Detroit Region Aerotropolis offers airspace access to drone companies, is affiliated with the state transportation department, and has a prominent, open invitation to drone companies to test their services.

0 / 10

Law Vesting Landowners with Air Rights
Michigan law does not expressly provide air rights to landowners, which raises litigation risk for drone operators.

1 / 5

Jobs Estimate
Michigan is in the bottom quintile when it comes to the number of drone-related jobs per 100,000 people.

How Michigan Scored Relative to Its Peers

Commercial drone-readiness scores vary across the nation. To give state leaders and residents insight into how their state compares, we have provided the scores of four state peers. In this case, these peers are selected because of their geographic and political similarities.

Chart showing how Michigan scored relative to its peers

Michigan scored 41 of out 100 possible points. The top ranked state in 2023 was Arkansas, which scored 90 points.

Chart showing how Michigan scored relative to its peers

Get in Touch With the Author

Brent Skorup regularly briefs policymakers on his research and has appeared as a guest for news outlets like C-SPAN, NPR, CBS News, ABC News, and CNBC Asia.

Dive Deeper

Access the full 2023 report to learn more about the methodology, download the data, and see how the scorecard has changed since last year.