Current Unmanned Aircraft State Law Landscape

Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), commonly called drones, have a host of applications including law enforcement, land surveillance, wildlife tracking, search and rescue operations, disaster response, border patrol and recreational use. Drones have become a part of our daily lives, especially among drone hobbyists. Today, over 1.1 million recreational drones are registered with the Federal Aviation Administration.

State legislatures continue to debate if and how drone technology should be regulated, considering the benefits of their use, privacy concerns and their potential economic impact. Since 2013, at least 44 states have enacted laws addressing drones and an additional three states have adopted resolutions. Common issues addressed in the legislation include defining what a UAS is, how they can be used by law enforcement or other state agencies, how they can be used by the general public and regulations for their use in hunting game.

Beginning in the 2013 legislative session, state lawmakers have frequently considered many pieces of legislation addressing UAS. To learn more about state drone laws, bills and resolutions, please follow the link to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

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