January 14, 2021

17 | Washington

Score: 45/100
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  • Airspace Lease Law: 30/30
  • Law Vesting Air Rights with Landowners: 0/10
  • Avigation Easement Law: 0/25
  • Drone Task Force or Program Office: 10/20
  • Drone Jobs Estimate: 5/15

Factors Helping the State Score

  • Airspace Lease Law: Washington law allows state and local authorities to lease low-altitude airspace above state and local roads. Such a law allows authorities to create drone highways above state and local roadways.
  • Drone Task Force or Program Office: Washington gets partial points because Governor Jay Inslee announced the creation of a temporary task force on unmanned aircraft systems to advise his office.
  • Drone Jobs Estimate: Washington has 10.5 drone-related jobs per 100,000 people, ranking it in the top half of states.

Factors Hindering the State Score

  • Law Vesting Air Rights with Landowners: Washington 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.
  • Avigation Easement Law: Washington 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.

These factors make Washington the 17th most drone-friendly state in the country.