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Arkansas Soars to the Top in Commercial Drone Readiness

A comprehensive approach to legal frameworks and job creation makes the state a national leader

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Arkansas has emerged as a leader in commercial drone readiness, according to a 2023 study by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. The state scored 90 out of 100 points, focusing on various factors such as airspace lease law, avigation easement law, and drone-related job estimates. This marks a significant improvement from previous years, as Arkansas ranked third in 2021 and second in 2022.

State laws have played a crucial role in this achievement. For instance, public authorities in Arkansas are allowed to lease low-altitude airspace above state and local roadways, facilitating the creation of "drone highways." Additionally, avigation easement laws protect drone operators from nuisance and trespass laws, provided they don't disturb people on the ground. Landowners in the state are also vested with air rights, reducing litigation risks for drone operators.

The state's high ranking is also influenced by the number of drone-related jobs, which are among the highest in the U.S. This comprehensive approach to drone readiness, involving legal frameworks and employment opportunities, positions Arkansas as a national leader in the commercial drone sector.

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