Via the popular Marginal Revolution blog, my colleague and friend Alex Tabarrok recently brought to my attention this prize-winning essay, which is provocatively titled “Drone Airspace: A New Global Asset Class“. The essay was written by Brent Skorup (pictured below), a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center and a visiting faculty fellow at the Governance and Technology Center of the University of Nebraska, who proposes the creation of “airspace markets” for commercial drone services. In the words of Mr Skorup, “With airspace markets, winning bidders win the exclusive license to manage, combine, and sublease air corridors. Importantly, operators have the freedom to iterate and to use the drone traffic management systems and technologies of their choice (subject to generally applicable FAA safety rules like separation minimums and emergency procedures).” Yes, what an excellent and innovative idea! My only criticism is that this proposal does not go far enough. Specifically, why not extend airspace markets to commercial satellites in outer space? See here, for example.
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