NAMIC Proposes 200′ Private Aerial Property Rights

Private Airspace Needed To Protect Property Owners From Drones


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” The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies is urging the federal government to protect Americans left vulnerable to drones flying over their homes and yards under current Federal Aviation Administration rules that do not recognize private airspace.

” In “Unmanned Aircraft: Defining Private Airspace,” a white paper released today by NAMIC, Tom Karol, general counsel-federal, explores how the FAA’s decision to reject the concept of private airspace has drastically changed property rights and exposed virtually every American’s back yard to unwanted drone intrusion.

“ You have the legal right to have your neighbor removed from standing in your front yard,” Karol said. “You can have his dog removed and keep his tree limbs from growing over your yard. But under the FAA’s definition of ‘navigable airspace,’ you can’t stop a drone from flying over your property, even at low altitude, and it may be a federal crime to try.”

  Historically, common law doctrine was that ownership of the land extends to the periphery of the universe, with owners said to own the land, everything below it, and all the airspace “up to the heavens,” according to Karol.

“ But in the age of commercial air traffic the heavens became a public highway,” he said. “Supreme Court rulings have established a safe and effective floor for airplane flights, but the FAA has gone far beyond, concluding that – with few exceptions – the navigable airspace for drones under FAA supervision includes all airspace that is not indoors. This means that there is no longer private airspace.” “




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