Scorecard compares preparedness for commercial drone operations between US states

Mercatus Center, George Mason University, has released its fourth annual ranking for US State drone commerce, providing scores to the states and ranking them using their laws and drone industry preparedness for commercial drones. By adopting laws that allow cities to lease the air rights above public roads, vesting property owners with air rights, and establishing avigation easements, states can facilitate future drone integration, says author Brent Skorup.

Six factors are used to score and rank the 50 states’ preparedness for commercial drone services. In 2023, Arkansas topped the ranking with a score of 90 out 100 possible points.

State laws need to accommodate drone flights from large and small operators and clarify who—whether state, local, or federal officials—can make low-altitude airspace available. The report scores the existing laws and policies and ranks all 50 states and Puerto Rico. The report also identifies which states have laws and policies that show promise in creating drone highways and a statewide drone industry.

The top states permit drone highways, create drone sandboxes, and form drone program offices.

The top-10 states (max: 100):
1. Arkansas (90)
2. Oklahoma (74)
3. North Dakota (70)
4. Arizona (68)
4. Georgia (68)
4. North Carolina (68)
7. Minnesota (66)
8. Maryland (59)
8. Massachusetts (59)
10. New Jersey (58)

View the report here

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