Drone Laws in Hawaii Explained (2023 Regulations)


From stunning aerial shots of lush landscapes to capturing Hawai’i’s unique volcanic wonders, drones have become increasingly popular in this tropical paradise. However, operating these unmanned aircraft systems requires adherence to federal, state, and local regulations. 

This guide provides a comprehensive overview of federal and local drone laws in Hawaii to ensure, safe, legal drone operation.

Federal Drone Laws in Hawaii

Federal Drone Laws in Hawaii

First and foremost, all drone pilots in Hawaii must adhere to federal regulations set by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Commercial drone operators must register their aircraft with the FAA. Then, they must get an FAA-certified remote pilot certificate by passing an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an approved testing center.Recreational drone pilots must also register their drones if they weigh between 0.55 lbs (250 grams) and 55 lbs (25 kg). Additionally, they must take the free online Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) to ensure they are well-versed in safety procedures before taking off into Hawaiian skies.

Agency Drone Pilot Requirements in Hawaii

To legally operate within Hawaiian airspace, agency drone pilots need a Certificate of Authorization (COA) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This is crucial for ensuring safe and compliant flights.

Additionally, agency drone pilots must adhere to the FAA’s Part 107 regulations. These rules cover various aspects of flight operations, including altitude limits, speed restrictions, and operating hours, among others. The goal is simple: maintain safety standards while navigating through the beautiful Hawaiian skies.

State Drone Laws in Hawaii

State Drone Laws in Hawaii

On top of federal regulations, Hawaii has its own set of drone laws that drone operators must follow. The one state law outlined by the Hawaii Department of Transportation’s is SB 661 // 2015. This law established a chief operating officer position for Hawaii’s UAS test area. The law also requires the advisors to plan and monitor test site development.

Local Drone Laws in Hawaii

Local Drone Laws in Hawaii

Hawaii’s state parks have specific regulations for drone usage, and drones are not allowed in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. According to the Department of Land and Natural Resources// Division of State, it is not allowed to launch or land a drone in a state park in Hawaii.

Penalties for Violating Drone Laws in Hawaii

Hawaii Drone Laws Penalties

The Hawaii State Legislature has been working on legislation to regulate drones in the state. For example, they require commercial drone pilots to complete FAA Form 8710-13 and impose fines for violating drone laws.

As drone usage continues to grow, drone operators must stay up-to-date on the latest regulations and guidelines to ensure safe and legal drone flights in Hawaii.

FAQs in Relation to Drone Laws in Hawaii

Is it legal to fly a drone in Hawaii?

Yes, it is legal to fly a drone in Hawaii. Drone operators must register their drones with the FAA, adhere to weight limits and flight restrictions, and comply with specific rules for recreational or commercial use.

Is it legal to fly a drone over private property in Hawaii?

Yes, it is legal to fly a drone over private property in Hawaii. There are no specific state laws regarding flying drones over private property in Hawaii. However, pilots should respect privacy rights and avoid trespassing on private land without permission. Following FAA guidelines can help ensure responsible operation near residential areas.

Can you fly a drone over volcanoes in Hawaii?

No, you cannot fly a drone in Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park according to the National Park Service unless granted special permission through a Certificate of Authorization (COA). Violating this rule may result in fines or penalties.

Do I have to register my drone in Hawaii?

Yes, you must register your drone in Hawaii for recreational or commercial use. Drone registration requirements depend on your intended usage. Commercial users need additional certification under Part 107 guidelines.

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I’m a huge fan of drones, cars, and anything that moves fast! Having bought, tested, and raced drones over the years, tinkering and experimenting with different parts and types, my fascination with drone technology led me to start this blog. So if you enjoy drone content covering the latest drone reviews, recommendations for the best drones for certain uses, and informative content on programming drones and other fun areas, stick around!

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