January 14, 2021

13 (Tied) | California

Score: 48/100
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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: 3/15

Factors Helping the State Score

  • Airspace Lease Law: California law allows state authorities to lease low-altitude airspace above state 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 local officials can lease airspace above local roads.
  • Law Vesting Air Rights with Landowners: California 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: California 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.

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.
  • Drone Jobs Estimate: California has 6.6 drone-related jobs per 100,000 people, ranking it in the bottom half of states.

These factors make California tied for the 13th most drone-friendly state in the country.