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Florida Legislature Opens the Runway for Increased Use of Drone Delivery Services

Drones.  Love them or hate them, there are some compelling considerations for more widespread availability of drone delivery services.  With the explosion of home delivery by online retailers and grocery stores, it’s not unusual for condo and homeowners associations to see multiple daily visits by heavy delivery trucks.  Besides blocking roads, these vehicles place an increased burden on roads maintained through member assessments.  Drone delivery could alleviate some of this burden.

In order to make commercial drone delivery more widely available the Florida Legislature passed Senate Bill 1068, which took effect on July 1, 2023.  The new law removes restrictions on the construction of drone ports, which are structures used as a takeoff and landing location for multiple delivery-service drones.  Under the new law local ordinances may not outright prohibit construction of stand-alone drone ports not exceeding 1500 square feet and 36 feet in height in non-residential areas.  Local municipalities can continue to apply their typical zoning restrictions and requirements as to the location of these drone ports.  The law also generally exempts conforming drone ports from the requirements of the Florida Building Code and the Florida Fire Prevention Code.

Based on this new law it probably won’t be too long before Florida residents start seeing their home deliveries getting dropped off from the air, rather than by cargo truck.