Who Owns the Air?

Logo 600 x 600Who owns the air above your backyard? Do you own it? Why do you think so? Why wouldn’t you “own” it? What does “ownership” even mean?

Welcome to the weird world of “aerial property rights.”

We’ve talked about these issues before, most notably in the Drone Law Course from last year. The problem of aerial property rights came to mind this week, though, because of a conversation I had with Ian Smith of Commercial Drones FM.

Before Ian and I spoke on his podcast, he tweeted out a request for questions. The first one that came through was from that singular gentlemen and scholar, Jonathan Rupprecht, who asked us: “who owns the lower portion of the sky?”

That question is one of the hardest issues facing the drone industry, and he knew it! Ian and I were game for the question though, and talked through the issues at length.

In this episode, we dig deeper into that issue by highlighting the work of Professor Troy Rule. His article, Airspace in an Age of Drones, serves as the foundation for our episode today. Tune in for the latest, and for some potential ways to solve this difficult problem.

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Links for you:

Troy Rule: Airspace in an Age of Drones

Troy Rule: Drone Zoning

The Drone Law Course

The Police Drones Series (Links to all episodes)

Commercial Drones FM Interview


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Nothing in this podcast is legal advice! Please don’t make legal decisions for yourself or your business before consulting counsel of your choice.

Learn more about our law firm, Ausley McMullen, at www.ausley.com.

Keep on flying,



Drone Zoning with Jon Harris Maurer!

Logo 600 x 600Welcome back, Drone Law Nation! Our guest today is attorney Jon Harris Maurer with the Hopping Green & Sams law firm in Tallahassee, Florida. Jon Harris and I recently co-presented on “drone law” in the land use and environmental law area, and it went so well I had to bring him on the podcast!

Jon Harris’ practice focuses primarily on environmental law, including the siting and licensing of energy facilities, natural gas pipelines, and associated transmission infrastructure. He assists his clients in navigating multi-agency review under Florida’s Power Plant Siting Act, Transmission Line Siting Act, and Natural Gas Pipeline Siting Act. Jon Harris’ interest in drone law stems from his monitoring and review of Florida’s “drone law” proposals in the last Legislative Session (none of which passed).

Jon Harris shares his insight on drone zoning issues and state regulation. Some resources we mentioned are the Bard College Drone Exemption Review and the FAA State Law Fact Sheet. Listen in for more!

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Nothing in this podcast is legal advice! Please don’t make legal decisions for yourself or your business before consulting counsel of your choice.

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Keep on flying,