The Uniform Law Commission (ULC) is set to meet this week and next in Anchorage, Alaska to discuss and vote on model state legislation concerning drones. The ULC’s proposed legislation is an attempt to recognize the fact that drones can be transformative to search and rescue, inspection and logistics, but that when misused, a drone could violate the rights to privacy and the quiet enjoyment of private property. If enacted by a state, this law would allow judges to weigh how many times and for how long a drone flew over the property, how low it was flying, why it was flying over the property, whether the drone was seen by anyone on the property, and the time of day that the drone was flown, in order to determine whether the drone has caused “substantial interference” with a property owner’s use and enjoyment of his or her property.

The ULC hopes this “test,” which can be performed by the courts, will allow drone flights like those for commercial package or medical supply deliver to move forward in our national airspace while still protecting the property and privacy rights of the people below. We will continue to monitor the progression of this model rule. To read the draft legislation click here.