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Airspace Rights

The federal government has jurisdiction over airspace within its domain, and each state has authority over the space above the grounds within its borders except in places within the domain of federal regulation. An aircraft is subject to the authority of the federal government and to the authority of a particular state while traveling over it. Landowners have air rights that extend upward beyond their property, the boundaries of which are delineated by local ZONING ordinances. These air rights ordinarily may be used to the extent that they are connected to the enjoyment of the property.

Since the general public has a right to freedom of travel in the navigable airspace of the United States, an aircraft may have legal access to airspace above private property. A landowner might have a civil CAUSE OF ACTION for TRESPASS or NUISANCE, however, where an aircraft enters landowner's airspace in such manner as to constitute an infringement on the landowner's right to the use and possession of the property. In some instances the landowner is entitled to an INJUNCTION to prohibit unlawful intrusion of his or her airspace.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationFree Legal Encyclopedia: Additional voluntary contribution (AVC) to AirspaceAeronautics - Airspace Rights, Air Transportation Regulation, Certificate Requirements, Airport Operation, Use And Ownership Of Aircraft Vehicles - Regulation on the State and Local Level, Aerospace