January 14, 2021

18 | Montana

Score: 42/100
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  • Airspace Lease Law: 0/30
  • Law Vesting Air Rights with Landowners: 10/10
  • Avigation Easement Law: 25/25
  • Drone Task Force or Program Office: 0/20
  • Drone Jobs Estimate: 7/15

Factors Helping the State Score

  • Law Vesting Air Rights with Landowners: Montana 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: Montana 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: Montana has 13.5 drone-related jobs per 100,000 people, ranking it in the top half of states.

Factors Hindering the State Score

  • Airspace Lease Law: Montana law does not allow public authorities to lease low-altitude airspace above public roads and public property. Such a law would allow state or local authorities to create drone highways above roadways.
  • 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 Montana the 18th most drone-friendly state in the country.