June 22, 2022

43 (Tied) | Kentucky

Score: 11/100
  • Brent Skorup

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

Factors Helping the State Score

  • Sandbox: Kentucky’s USA Drone Port, currently under construction in eastern Kentucky, will offer 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.

Factors Hindering the State Score

  • Airspace Lease Law: Kentucky 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: Kentucky 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.
  • 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.
  • Law Vesting Landowners with Air Rights: Kentucky 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.
  • Jobs Estimate: Kentucky 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 Kentucky tied (with South Carolina) for the 43rd most drone-friendly state in the country.