January 14, 2021

37 | Illinois

Score: 23/100
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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: 10/20
  • Drone Jobs Estimate: 3/15

Factors Helping the State Score

  • Airspace Lease Law: Illinois law allows Chicago authorities to lease low-altitude airspace above city streets and to create drone highways above These roadways. However, the state did not receive full points because the law is silent as to whether state officials can lease airspace above state roads and whether local officials outside Chicago can lease airspace above local roads.
  • Drone Task Force or Program Office: Illinois gets partial points because it had a temporary drone task force.

Factors Hindering the State Score

  • Law Vesting Air Rights with Landowners: Illinois 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: Illinois 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: Illinois has 6.0 drone-related jobs per 100,000 people, ranking it in the bot-tom half of states.

These factors make Illinois the 37th most drone-friendly state in the country.