January 14, 2021

30 (Tied) | Ohio

Score: 32/100
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  • Airspace Lease Law: 10/30
  • Law Vesting Air Rights with Landowners: 0/10
  • Avigation Easement Law: 0/25
  • Drone Task Force or Program Office: 20/20
  • Drone Jobs Estimate: 2/15

Factors Helping the State Score

  • Airspace Lease Law: Ohio law allows state authorities to lease low-altitude airspace above state roads. Such a law allows state authorities to create drone highways above state roadways. However, the state did not receive full points because the law is silent as to whether state or local officials can lease airspace above local roads.
  • Drone Task Force or Program Office: Ohio gets full points. The state created a drone program office—the Ohio UAS Center—which is an initiative created and overseen by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT). ODOT and the program office are researching and considering the creation of drone highways in aerial corridors above Interstate 71.

Factors Hindering the State Score

  • Law Vesting Air Rights with Landowners: Ohio 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: Ohio 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.
  • Drone Jobs Estimate: Ohio has 4.2 drone-related jobs per 100,000 people, ranking it in the bottom half of states.

These factors make Ohio tied for the 30th most drone-friendly state in the country.