January 14, 2021

8 | New Jersey

Score: 55/100
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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: 0/15

Factors Helping the State Score

  • Law Vesting Air Rights with Landowners: New Jersey 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: New Jersey 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: New Jersey gets full points. The state created a drone program within the Bureau of Aeronautics of the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT). The state has hired professionals to lead the program and intends to use drone technology for initiatives related to traffic management, structural inspections, and aerial corridor 3D mapping.

Factors Hindering the State Score

  • Airspace Lease Law: New Jersey 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: New Jersey has 0.1 drone-related jobs per 100,000 people, ranking it in the bottom half of states.

These factors make New Jersey the 8th most drone-friendly state in the country.