The answer is yes, for now. The leading case on the air rights is somewhat outdated, and with the rapid developments in this space s likely to be revised fairly soon. US v. Causby (1946) states that the owner of real property is also the owner of the airspace above his or her property, to the extent that such airspace can be reasonably used in connection with the land. Aside from the issues of whether the flying of drones over private property constitutes a trespass or a violation of the owner’s right to quiet enjoyment, or whether such use will require drone owner to enter into easements or other agreements with landowners, real estate professionals interested in integrating drones into their businesses should also consider the possibility of nuisance issues. Also, privacy concerns are likely to be addressed and curtail the usage of drones over private properties.
Currently, regulations set by the FAA and other agencies prohibit most commercial drone use unless a specific exception is granted. However, real estate professionals, developers, business owners and property owners are likely to experience some shifts in the way their business is done over the coming years, and should keep an eye on the developments in the drone market.