June 27, 2022

32 | Kansas

Score: 34/100
  • Brent Skorup

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  • Airspace Lease Law: 0/30 
  • Avigation Easement Law: 0/25  
  • Task Force or Program Office: 20/20 
  • Law Vesting Landowners with Air Rights: 0/10 
  • Sandbox: 10/10
  • Jobs Estimate: 4/5

Factors Helping the State Score

  • Task Force or Program Office: Kansas gets full points. The state has a drone program office, led by the director of unmanned aircraft systems, in the Department of Transportation.
  • Sandbox: The Kansas State University Salina Aerospace and Technology Campus 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 hardware and services.
  • Jobs Estimate: Kansas is in the second quintile when it comes to the number of drone-related jobs per 100,000 people, receiving four out of five points.

Factors Hindering the State Score

  • Airspace Lease Law: Kansas 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.
  • Avigation Easement Law: Kansas 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.
  • Law Vesting Landowners with Air Rights: Kansas law does not expressly provide air rights to landowners, which raises litigation risk for drone operators because landowners do not know the extent of their property rights and may sue to protect their interests.

These factors make Kansas the 32nd most drone-friendly state in the country.