Texas | 2023 State Drone Scorecard

Texas ranks 14th in its readiness for commercial drone services

Rank: 14 (tied)

Texas tied with Washington for 14th place in the 2023 State Drone Commerce Scorecard rankings. The state scored 54 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

30 / 30

Airspace Lease Law
Texas law allows public authorities to lease low-altitude airspace above state and local roads,  which allows state or local officials to create drone highways above these roadways.

0 / 25

Avigation Easement Law 
    Texas 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.

20 / 20

Task Force or Program Office
State lawmakers created a drone task force—the Urban Air Mobility Advisory Committee—within the Texas Department of Transportation in 2021.  Among other things, the task force makes recommendations about passenger drones and airspace policy.

0 / 10

Texas 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
Texas law does not expressly provide air rights to landowners, which raises litigation risk for drone operators.

/ 5

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

How Texas 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 Texas scored relative to its peers

Texas scored 54 of out 100 possible points. The top ranked state in 2023 was Arkansas, which scored 90 points.

Chart showing how Texas 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.