June 27, 2022

21 | Vermont

Score: 40/100
  • Brent Skorup

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  • Airspace Lease Law: 0/30
  • 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: 5/5

Factors Helping the State Score

  • Avigation Easement Law: Vermont 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: Vermont law expressly provides air rights to landowners, which reduces litigation risk for drone operators because landowners know the extent of their property rights.
  • Jobs Estimate: Vermont is in the top quintile when it comes to the number of drone-related jobs per 100,000 people, receiving five out of five points.

Factors Hindering the State Score

  • Airspace Lease Law: Vermont law does not allow public authorities to lease low-altitude airspace above state and local roads. An airspace lease law would allow state or local officials to create drone highways above these roadways.
  • Task Force or Program Office: The state created a UAS program within the Vermont State Police. However, the program’s main use is governmental. Its functions include aiding that agency in emergency operations, infrastructure inspection, and construction site monitoring. State leaders should consider convening a statewide drone task force or creating a drone program office within the transportation department.
  • Sandbox: Vermont 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.

These factors make Vermont the 21st most drone-friendly state in the country.