June 27, 2022

6 (Tied) | Georgia

Score: 58/100
  • Brent Skorup

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

Factors Helping the State Score

  • Airspace Lease Law: Georgia law allows state authorities to lease low-altitude airspace above limited-access highways. 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 officials can lease airspace above local roads and state highways that do not have limited access.
  • Avigation Easement Law: Georgia 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: Georgia gets partial points because the legislature produced a one-time drone policy report in 2015. The report by the Georgia House of Representatives contained clarifying recommendations for the government use of state-owned drones and for understanding surveillance boundaries and privacy laws.
  • Law Vesting Landowners with Air Rights: Georgia 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: Georgia 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: Georgia 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 Georgia tied (with New Jersey and North Carolina) for the 6th most drone-friendly state in the country.