Agencies Responsible for regulating drones in the State of Hawaii
Federal Aviation Administration
FAA Drone Website: https://www.faa.gov/uas/
Updated January 10, 2023
UAS Laws – General rules for flying drones in Hawaii
Drone operation in the State of Hawaii is broadly governed by The Federal USA agency responsible for drone safety, the FAA. Click here for details on FAA USA Drone Laws.
In addition, the Hawaii legislature has enacted supplemental rules specific to Hawaii drone operations. The highlights are enumerated below. For more details go to the links above and search for unmanned aircraft
Are drones allowed in Hawaii?
Drones are allowed in Hawaii for recreational and commercial use, subject to FAA regulations and flight controls put in place by local governments. Read on for details.
Specific additional drone use laws by Hawaii State legislature
201-72.6 Hawaii unmanned aerial systems test site advisory board;
This statute established a Hawaii unmanned aerial systems test site advisory board, as a subcommittee of the Hawaii aerospace advisory committee, to oversee the planning and operation of the Hawaii unmanned aerial systems test site.
Specific additional laws by local governments within Hawaii
We recommend checking the local jurisdiction for the latest regulations.
UAS operation rules in Parks, Recreation and Cultural Preserves
Dept. of Land & Natural Resources | Division of State Parks
Under this rule, drone pilots cannot land, launch, or fly UAVs from Hawaii state parks. Citizens are encouraged to report those who violate park rules to enforcement officers.
Notes for recreational drone pilots flying for fun in Hawaii
If you have a small drone that is less than 55 pounds, you can fly recreationally by following the Drone Laws in the USA defined by FAA Part 107 guidelines.
Recreational UAS operations (i.e., flying for recreational purposes) in Hawaii are approved under FAA law, specifically Part 107. Please check the specific state jurisdiction for additional permissions, licensing, or clearance requirements.
Following these rules will keep you and your drone safe and help keep the airspace available to everyone.
The law requires that all recreational flyers pass an aeronautical knowledge and safety test and provide proof of passage if asked by law enforcement or FAA personnel. The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) was developed to meet this requirement.
TRUST provides education and testing on important safety and regulatory information. If you fly your drone recreationally under the Exception for Recreational Flyers, you must pass the test before you fly.
Note: If your drone weighs more than .55 pounds (lbs), you must register your drone through the FAA‘s Drone Zone.
To fly your drone as a recreational flyer, it’s as easy as 1-2-3
- Understand recreational flying requirements
- Note: Non-recreational drone flying includes things like taking photos to help sell a property or service, doing roof inspections, or taking pictures of a high school football game for the school’s website. Goodwill can also be considered non-recreational. This would include volunteering to use your drone to survey coastlines on behalf of a non-profit organization. If you’re unsure which rules apply to your flight, fly under Part 107 (See below).
- Visit the Recreational Flyers page to learn about the rules for recreational flyers.
- Download the FAA’s B4UFLY mobile app for more recreational drone flying resources.
- Take TRUST
- You may take the free online test through any of the FAA-approved test administrators.
- All FAA-approved TRUST test administrators offer the test free.
- All test questions are correctable to 100% prior to issuing your completion certificate.
- After completing TRUST, you’ll need to download, save or print your completion certificate.
- If you lose your certificate, you will need to retake TRUST.
- View a list of TRUST Test Administrators
- Receive your certificate
- After you pass the test, you will receive a certificate from the test administrator you selected.
- Test administrators will not keep a record of your certificate. If law enforcement officers ask, you must present a copy of your certificate.
General Rules for Recreational Flyers
The Exception for Limited Recreational Operations of Unmanned Aircraft (USC 44809) is the law that describes how, when, and where you can fly drones for recreational purposes. Following these rules helps keep people, your drone, and our airspace safe:
- Fly only for recreational purposes (personal enjoyment).
- Follow the safety guidelines of an FAA-recognized Community-Based Organization (CBO).
For more information on how to become an FAA-recognized CBO, read Advisory Circular 91-57C.
- Keep your drone within the visual line of sight, or use a visual observer who is co-located (physically next to) and in direct communication with you.
- Give way to and do not interfere with other aircraft.
- Fly at or below FAA-authorized altitudes in controlled airspace (Class B, C, D, and surface Class E designated for an airport) only with prior FAA authorization by using LAANC or DroneZone.
- Fly at or below 400 feet in Class G (uncontrolled) airspace.
Note: Flying drones in restricted airspace is not allowed. Drone pilots should always check for airspace restrictions prior to flight on our B4UFLY app or the UAS Facility Maps webpage.
- Take The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) and carry proof of test passage when flying.
- Have a current FAA registration, mark (PDF) your drones on the outside with the registration number, and carry proof of registration when flying.
Note: Beginning September 16, 2023, if your drone requires an FAA registration number, it will also be required to broadcast Remote ID information.
- Do not operate your drone in a manner that endangers the safety of the national airspace system.
Recreational drone pilots should know that if they violate these safety requirements and/or operate their drone flight carelessly or recklessly, they could be liable for criminal and/or civil penalties.
It is recommended that recreational drone operators consult the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules and regulations on the proper use of recreational drones and use common sense when operating these devices around crowded public areas, wildlife, or historic resources.
Notes for operating Commercial Drone Services in Hawaii
If you have a small drone that is less than 55 pounds, you can fly for work or business by following the Drone Laws in the USA defined by FAA Part 107 guidelines.
Commercial drone operations in Hawaii are approved under the FAA Part 107. Please check the specific state jurisdiction for additional permissions, licensing, or clearance requirements.
There are three main steps drone owners must follow To fly under Part 107 rules:
The Operations Over People rule became effective on April 21, 2021. Drone pilots operating under Part 107 may fly at night, over people and moving vehicles without a waiver as long as they meet the requirements defined in the rule. Airspace authorizations are still required for night operations in controlled airspace under 400 feet.
If you have a small drone of fewer than 55 pounds, you can fly for work or business by following the Part 107 guidelines. To fly under Part 107 rules, there are three main steps.
Step 1: Learn the Rules
Ensure you understand what is and is not allowed under Part 107 rules.
If you are unsure if Part 107 rules work for you and your intended operation, check our user identification tool.
Some operations will require a waiver. Here are the regulations specified in §107.205 that are subject to waiver:
- Operation from a moving vehicle or aircraft – §107.25
- Operation at Night – §107.29(a)(2) and (b)
- Visual line of sight aircraft operation – §107.31
- Visual observer – §107.33
- Operation of multiple small unmanned aircraft systems – §107.35
- Yielding the right of way – §107.37(a)
- Operation over human beings – §107.39
- Operation in certain airspace – §107.41
- Operating limitations for small unmanned aircraft – §107.51
- Operations Over Moving Vehicles – §107.145
Learn more about Part 107 Waivers.
Drone operators should avoid flying near airports because it is difficult for crewed aircraft to see and avoid a drone while flying. Remember that the drone operator must avoid manned aircraft and are responsible for any safety hazard their drone creates in an airport environment.
Step 2: Become an FAA-Certified Drone Pilot by Passing the Knowledge Test
To be eligible to get your Remote Pilot Certificate, you must be:
- At least 16 years old
- Able to read, write, speak, and understand English
- Be in a physical and mental condition to safely fly a UAS
Study for the Knowledge Test
- Review Knowledge Test Suggested Study Materials provided by the FAA.
Obtain an FAA Tracking Number (FTN)
- Create an Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) profile before registering for the knowledge test.
Schedule an Appointment
- Take the Knowledge Test at an FAA-approved Knowledge Testing Center.
Complete FAA Form 8710-13
- Once you’ve passed your test for a remote pilot certificate (FAA Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application), log in to the FAA Integrated Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application system (IACRA)* to complete FAA form 8710-13.
- Review the entire process to get your Remote Pilot Certificate.
Step 3: Register your Drone with the FAA
Registration costs $5 and is valid for three years. You’ll need a credit or debit card and the make and model of your drone handy in order to register. Learn more about registering your drone.
- Create an account and register your drone at FAADroneZone. Select “Fly sUAS under Part 107.”
- Once you’ve registered, mark your drone (PDF) with your registration number in case it gets lost or stolen.
Useful published information on flying drones in Hawaii
We have partnered with the FAA and other drone enthusiasts in supporting an internet educational campaign called Know Before You Fly. The tips, pointers, and resources apply to Hawaii Drone Users also. Please visit the site for additional information: Know Before You Fly
Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International – Mostly for commercial drone service providers and users.
Academy of Model Aeronautics – Mostly for hobbyists
NOTE: Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (SUAS), Small UAS, Remote Piloted Aerial Systems (RPAS), unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), and drone are interchangeable terms unless specified. Model Aircraft, toy, remote-controlled, and RC aircraft may be covered by the same regulations unless specified.
Traveling with a Drone?
Click here to read our Comprehensive Guide For Traveling With A Drone.
NOW ITS YOUR TURN
9 thoughts on “Drone Laws in Hawaii”
12/14/22 — I heard and saw a drone a short distance over my head when I returned home from a walk. It hovered over my head for about 10-20 seconds before it left quickly. I went inside my home and wondered what laws are in place for drones “watching” or “following” a person or “looking inside your home” in a residential area. What are the laws/rules for drones in a residential area?
There may be privacy laws which apply in your locality. The drone operators should not fly over strangers without approval. However in practice the regulations are rarely enforced.Generally operators can fly in unrestricted airspace if they operate safely within the FAA regulations
What can be done about a drone scoping out my property? It was over at the neighbors the week before, hovering 10 ft above the ground! This feels very invasive and I am worried about being targeted by thieves.
Please contact your local law enforcement
A drone was buzzing the shoreline at the beach. Very annoying
Can a HOA in Hawaii use a drone to survey drainage ditches for clearance?..there are homes above and below this ditches..isnt there a law around a residence airspace and privacy?
This is considered commercial activity and should follow those regulations.
What do you do when a drone is flying low over your house frequently? Often in the evening. Today it was before 6 am and I was woken up by it. It was zipping around the neighborhood and flying so low that at times it was lower than my mock orange hedge.
Sue you should contact your local law enforcement