June 27, 2022

48 (Tied) | Nebraska

Score: 1/100
  • 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: 0/10
  • Jobs Estimate: 1/5

Factors Hindering the State Score

  • Airspace Lease Law: Nebraska law does not allow public authorities to lease low-altitude airspace above state and local roads. More precisely, the law allows cities to lease airspace but not to drone operators. Leases of the airspace above local roads can be made only to landowners on either side of the street. An airspace lease law would allow state or local officials to create drone highways above these roadways.
  • Avigation Easement Law: Nebraska 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: Nebraska 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.
  • Sandbox: Nebraska 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: Nebraska 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 Nebraska tied (with Mississippi and Rhode Island) for the 48th most drone-friendly state in the country.