January 14, 2021

44 | New Mexico

Score: 11/100
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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: 0/20
  • Drone Jobs Estimate: 11/15

Factors Helping the State Score

  • Drone Jobs Estimate: New Mexico has 21.4 drone-related jobs per 100,000 people, ranking it in the top half of states.

Factors Hindering the State Score

  • Airspace Lease Law: New Mexico 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: New Mexico 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 Mexico 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 Mexico the 44th most drone-friendly state in the country.