January 14, 2021

22 | Maryland

Score: 39/100
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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: 4/15

Factors Helping the State Score

  • Law Vesting Air Rights with Landowners: Maryland 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: Maryland 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

  • Airspace Lease Law: Maryland 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.
  • Drone Jobs Estimate: Maryland has 8.2 drone-related jobs per 100,000 people, ranking it in the bottom half of states.

These factors make Maryland the 22nd most drone-friendly state in the country.