January 14, 2021

11 | Minnesota

Score: 50/100
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  • Airspace Lease Law: 10/30
  • Law Vesting Air Rights with Landowners: 10/10
  • Avigation Easement Law: 25/25
  • Drone Task Force or Program Office: 0/20
  • Drone Jobs Estimate: 5/15

Factors Helping the State Score

  • Airspace Lease Law: Minnesota law allows state authorities to lease low-altitude airspace over “trunk highways.” Such a law allows state authorities 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 whether airspace above nontrunk highways can be leased.
  • Law Vesting Air Rights with Landowners: Minnesota law expressly provides air rights to landowners, which reduces litigation risk for drone operators because landowners know the extent of their property rights.
  • Avigation Easement Law: Minnesota 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.
  • Drone Jobs Estimate: Minnesota has 10.0 drone-related jobs per 100,000 people, ranking it in the top half of states.

Factors Hindering the State Score

  • Drone 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.

These factors make Minnesota the 11th most drone-friendly state in the country.