Who Owns The Airspace Above Your Home ?
” For decades, the issue of who controls the nation’s air didn’t matter much to everyday Americans. Planes, after all, typically must stay hundreds of feet above ground while in the air.
But drones that can take off or land almost anywhere — and the tech companies who dream of using them to deliver goods to your front porch — are igniting a debate over who exactly owns the air just above ordinary homes and lawns.
“ There is gray area in terms of how far your property rights extend,” said Jeramie Scott, national security counsel at the Electronic Privacy Information Center. “It’s going to need to be addressed sooner rather than later as drones are integrated into the national airspace.”
The issue is becoming more urgent as drones are crowding America’s skies: The Consumer Technology Association estimated 700,000 were sold last year.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, every inch above the tip of your grass blades is the government’s jurisdiction. “The FAA is responsible for the safety and management of U.S. airspace from the ground up,” said an agency spokesman, echoing rules laid out on its website.
But common law long held that landowners’ rights went “all the way to Heaven.” And today, it’s clear that they have some rights.”