January 14, 2021

39 (Tied) | New York

Score: 16/100
Contact us
To speak with a scholar or learn more on this topic, visit our contact page.
  • Airspace Lease Law: 10/30
  • Law Vesting Air Rights with Landowners: 0/10
  • Avigation Easement Law: 0/25
  • Drone Task Force or Program Office: 0/20
  • Drone Jobs Estimate: 6/15

Factors Helping the State Score

  • Airspace Lease Law: New York law allows local authorities to lease low-altitude airspace above local roads. Such a law allows state and local authorities to create drone highways above state and local 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 property.
  • Drone Jobs Estimate: New York has 12.9 drone-related jobs per 100,000 people, ranking it in the top half of states.

Factors Hindering the State Score

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