June 27, 2022

4 | Arizona

Score: 68/100
  • Brent Skorup

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  • Airspace Lease Law: 10/30 
  • Avigation Easement Law: 25/25 
  • Task Force or Program Office: 20/20 
  • Law Vesting Landowners with Air Rights: 10/10 
  • Sandbox: 0/10
  • Jobs Estimate: 3/5

Factors Helping the State Score

  • Airspace Lease Law: Arizona law allows the director of the Arizona Department of Transportation to lease airspace above state roads. Such a law allows state officials to create drone highways above these roadways. However, the state did not receive full points, because the law is silent as to whether local officials can lease airspace above local roads and property.
  • Avigation Easement Law: Arizona 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.
  • Task Force or Program Office: Arizona gets full points. State lawmakers created the Urban Air Mobility Study Committee in 2021; membership is mostly by governor appointment. The study committee is required to provide recommendations to lawmakers about how to improve passenger drone regulation and commerce in the state.
  • Law Vesting Landowners with Air Rights: Arizona 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: Arizona is in the middle quintile when it comes to the number of drone-related jobs per 100,000 people, receiving three out of five points.

Factors Hindering the State Score

  • Sandbox: Arizona 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 Arizona the 4th most drone-friendly state in the country.