Massachusetts | 2023 State Drone Commerce Scorecard

Massachusetts ranks eighth in its readiness for commercial drone services

Rank: 8 (tied)

Massachusetts tied with Maryland for eighth place in the 2023 State Drone Commerce Scorecard rankings. The state scored 59 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

10 / 30

Airspace Lease Law
Massachusetts law allows state authorities to lease low-altitude airspace above Boston’s metropolitan highways and state highways, which allows state officials to create drone highways above these roadways. However, the law is silent as to whether local officials outside of Boston can lease airspace above local roads.

25 / 25

Avigation Easement Law
Massachusetts 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.

20 / 20

Task Force or Program Office
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has a drone program that advises state officials on economic development and drones.

0 / 10

Massachusetts does not have a drone sandbox. State officials should consider dedicating state facilities and airspace to commercial drone testing.

0 / 10

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

/ 5

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

How Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts scored relative to its peers

Massachusetts scored 59 of out 100 possible points. The top ranked state in 2023 was Arkansas, which scored 90 points.

Chart showing how Massachusetts 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.