January 14, 2021

39 (Tied) | Alabama

Score: 16/100
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  • Airspace Lease Law: 0/30
  • Law Vesting Air Rights with Landowners: 0/10
  • Avigation Easement Law: 0/25
  • Drone Task Force or Program Office: 10/20
  • Drone Jobs Estimate: 6/15

Factors Helping the State Score

  • Drone Task Force or Program Office: Alabama gets partial points because it had a temporary drone task force. In 2014, Governor Robert Bentley established a drone task force, which produced a report for the governor and state legislature. To receive a full score, the state needs an active drone task force or a program office within the state transportation department.
  • Drone Jobs Estimate: Alabama has 12 drone-related jobs per 100,000 people, ranking it in the top half of states.

Factors Hindering the State Score

  • Airspace Lease Law: Alabama 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.
  • Law Vesting Air Rights with Landowners: Alabama 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: Alabama 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 Alabama tied for the 39th most drone-friendly state in the country.