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,