Kentucky | 2023 State Drone Commerce Scorecard

Kentucky ranks 43rd in its readiness for commercial drone services

Rank: 43 (tied)

Kentucky tied with South Carolina for 43rd place in the 2023 State Drone Commerce Scorecard rankings. The state scored 11 out of 100 possible points in how prepared it is for commercial drone services.

The Six Factors Contributing to the Overall Score

A Score in Gray Indicates a Score Below the Median of All States

0 / 30

Airspace Lease Law
Kentucky law does not allow public authorities to lease low-altitude airspace above state and local roads. An airspace lease law would allow state or local officials to create drone highways above these roadways.

0 / 25

Avigation Easement Law
Kentucky 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.

0 / 20

Task Force or Program Office
State leaders should consider convening a statewide drone task force or creating a drone program office.

10 / 10

Kentucky’s USA Drone Port, currently under construction in eastern Kentucky, will offer airspace access to drone companies, is affiliated with the state transportation department, and has a prominent, open invitation to drone companies to test their services.

0 / 10

Law Vesting Landowners with Air Rights
Kentucky law does not expressly provide air rights to landowners, which raises litigation risk for drone operators.

1 / 5

Jobs Estimate
Kentucky is in the bottom quintile when it comes to the number of drone-related jobs per 100,000 people.

How Kentucky Scored Relative to Its Peers

Commercial drone-readiness scores vary across the nation. To give state leaders and residents insight into how their state compares, we have provided the scores of four state peers. In this case, these peers are selected because of their geographic and political similarities.

Chart showing how Kentucky scored relative to its peers

Kentucky scored 11 of out 100 possible points. The top ranked state in 2023 was Arkansas, which scored 90 points.

Chart showing how Kentucky scored relative to its peers

Get in Touch With the Author

Brent Skorup regularly briefs policymakers on his research and has appeared as a guest for news outlets like C-SPAN, NPR, CBS News, ABC News, and CNBC Asia.

Dive Deeper

Access the full 2023 report to learn more about the methodology, download the data, and see how the scorecard has changed since last year.