June 27, 2022

17 | Wisconsin

Score: 46/100
  • Brent Skorup

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  • Airspace Lease Law: 10/30
  • Avigation Easement Law: 25/25
  • Task Force or Program Office: 0/20
  • Law Vesting Landowners with Air Rights: 10/10
  • Sandbox: 0/10
  • Jobs Estimate: 1/5

Factors Helping the State Score

  • Airspace Lease Law: Wisconsin law allows local authorities to lease low-altitude airspace above local roads. Such a law allows local officials to create drone highways above these roadways. However, the state did not receive full points, because the law is silent as to whether state officials can lease airspace above state roads and state property.
  • Avigation Easement Law: Wisconsin law creates an avigation easement, which means drone operators are protected from nuisance and trespass laws as long as their drones do not disturb people on the ground.
  • Law Vesting Landowners with Air Rights: Wisconsin law expressly provides air rights to landowners, which reduces litigation risk for drone operators because landowners know the extent of their property rights.

Factors Hindering the State Score

  • Task Force or Program Office: State leaders should consider convening a statewide drone task force or creating a drone program office within the transportation department.
  • Sandbox: Wisconsin does not have a drone sandbox. State officials should consider dedicating state facilities and airspace to commercial drone testing and should have a prominent, open invitation for drone companies to test their hardware and services.
  • Jobs Estimate: Wisconsin is in the bottom quintile when it comes to the number of drone-related jobs per 100,000 people, receiving one out of five points.

These factors make Wisconsin the 17th most drone-friendly state in the country.