Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education & Research





Key words

UAS, unmanned aircraft, regulation, legislation, state, topical analysis, qualitative, aviation, Federal Aviation Administration


With the Congressional mandate for the integration of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in the National Airspace System (NAS) to begin by 2015, significant interest in UAS investment, operations, and research has taken place. Unfortunately, a complex array of requirements and restrictions have been placed on UAS stakeholders by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Public concerns about privacy in and around UAS operations has also created an additional layer of convolution, with outcries for further restrictions by the citizens who believe this technology may be used in ways that violate their right to privacy and protection against illegal search and seizure. As such, legislators and representatives from the Federal Government to the local city government levels have proposed or imposed various laws or restrictions on UAS operations. As such, UAS stakeholders face an ever changing regulatory landscape further complicating their ability to conduct research and development of their systems. Because UAS operators have been concentrating on gaining FAA approval for Certificates of Authorization or Waiver (COA) and apply for test site designations, these stakeholders may be less aware of state and local legislation that could potentially limit or restrict technology development and use of UAS. This research analyzed state and local legislation to identify themes and trends in the development and passage of limitations and barriers to UAS operations. “Hot spots” of activity were identified to evaluate potential for future legislation. These findings will arm UAS stakeholders with the comprehensive understanding they need to make sound decisions on UAS research, acquisition, and usage in their locality.

First Page


Last Page




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.