Who Owns the Airspace Over My House
In 1946, a chicken farmer located outside of Greensboro, North Carolina named Thomas Lee Causby sued the United States. At the time, Causby’s farm was located near a military airport. Frequent flights over his property frightened and killed more than 150 of his chickens, forcing Causby to abandon his business. Causby argued that by using the airspace over his property, the government had seized his property without compensation, in violation of the Takings Clause of the 5th Amendment.
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Given the damage to his property, Causby was granted compensation – and started an argument about property rights that continues to this day. At the AUVSI Xponential conference in Denver this week, a group of drone advocacy experts explained why the case is often incorrectly referenced – and how drone industry stakeholders can better communicate with state and local lawmakers to create reasonable state and local…