January 14, 2021

6 (Tied) | North Carolina

Score: 59/100
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  • Airspace Lease Law: 0/30
  • Law Vesting Air Rights with Landowners: 10/10
  • Avigation Easement Law: 25/25
  • Drone Task Force or Program Office: 20/20
  • Drone Jobs Estimate: 4/15

Factors Helping the State Score

  • Law Vesting Air Rights with Landowners: North Carolina law expressly provides air rights to landowners, which reduces litigation risk for drone operators because landowners know the extent of their property rights.
  • Avigation Easement Law: North Carolina law creates an avigation easement, which means drone operators are protected from nuisance and trespass laws as long as their drones do not disturb people on the ground.
  • Drone Task Force or Program Office: North Carolina gets full points. The state has a drone program office in its division of aviation with the goal of promoting economic development and airport safety in North Carolina.

Factors Hindering the State Score

  • Airspace Lease Law: North Carolina 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.
  • Drone Jobs Estimate: North Carolina has 9.0 drone-related jobs per 100,000 people, ranking it in the bottom half of states.

These factors make North Carolina tied for the 6th most drone-friendly state in the country.