Why Nevada Is the Unofficial Drone Capital of the World

Nevada has more drone pilots per capita than any other state.

Last week we wrote about the rise in popularity of private drone use and apparently they’re more popular in our home state than any other place in the country!

Surprised by that stat?  We sure were and even more astonished when we read experts are predicting that the drone industry could have an $8 billion economic impact locally.  The Silver State is actually widely referred to as the birthplace of the drone industry (because of the large military presence here).

Back in 2013 Nevada and five other states were named as official FAA test sites for unmanned aerial vehicles (aka drones).  Testing is currently underway to help lawmakers and federal officials determine the best course of action for drone regulation.

Drone Legislation

Earlier this month dozens of laws went into effect regulating private use of drones.  Assembly Bill 239 specifics include:

  • It is a misdemeanor to fly less than 250 feet over private property (before it’s considered trespassing)
  • Drones must fly below 500 feet and remain in the operator’s line of sight
  • It is illegal to fly within 500 feet of a critical facility (i.e. government buildings, power plants, etc.)
  • No flying of drones within 5 miles of an airport
  • Operating a drone while under the influence is also now illegal and is classified as a gross misdemeanor
  • Police need a warrant to investigate or track someone with a drone

Privacy is a big concern as well.  More and more local homeowners are complaining about drones flying above their homes as they relax poolside in their backyards.  Next door in California laws were just put into place restricting the flying of drones to stop paparazzi from snapping photos of celebrities.

Nevada Lawmakers say the new state laws are designed to create a balance between protecting civil liberties and allowing the industry to expand.

We’ll leave you with this little tid bit of information; the FAA predicts a million drones could be sold during the upcoming holiday season.  With that said lawmakers understand there will be a large learning curve for newbie drone operators.  We’ll have to wait and see what sort of changes or additions could be made to these new laws.

Have you had a run in with a drone?  What do you think about drones and our privacy?  Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear your thoughts.