Can You Fly A Drone in Maui? (Answered)


In this blog post, we’ll explore the question, “Is drone flying allowed in Maui?”.

So, let’s jump in and discover everything you need to know — regulations, penalties (if any) and safety tips to keep in mind!

Can You Fly A Drone in Maui

Can You Fly a Drone in Maui?

Yes, you can fly a drone in Maui. However, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the local regulations and guidelines to ensure a safe and legal flying experience. Here drone flights are regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which has specific rules and restrictions in place to protect public safety and privacy. By adhering to these regulations and respecting the local authorities’ guidelines, drone enthusiasts can enjoy capturing stunning aerial footage while exploring Maui’s beautiful landscapes.

Overview of Drone Regulations

Let’s take a look at some of the key points for drone regulations:

Maximum Altitude Limits

  • All drone operators must adhere to the federal FAA regulation which stipulates a maximum altitude limit of 400 feet above ground level for drone operations.
  • For safety reasons, drones must not exceed this altitude limit and should always give way to manned aircrafts.

Distance Restrictions

  • Drones must be flown within the visual line-of-sight of the operator at all times. This is typically interpreted as a flight distance of no more than 400 feet from the operator.
  • Avoid flying closer than five miles from any airport unless you have specific authorization from the FAA and the airport authority.

Prohibited Activities and Actions

  • All drone operators are strictly prohibited from flying their unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) over congested areas or large groups of people. This includes public events, stadiums, or beaches during peak hours.
  • Drone operators must ensure they do not breach privacy laws. Drones are not allowed to capture images or videos in areas where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy without obtaining explicit permission.

Privacy and Data Protection Considerations

  • All drone operators must respect privacy rights by not recording or photographing individuals in areas where there is an expectation of privacy without the individual’s permission.
  • Data collected by drones, including photographs or videos, must not be used or shared without the express consent of the persons identified or identifiable, especially when used for commercial purposes, in order to comply with data protection laws and principles.

Commercial Operations

  • All commercial drone operations must comply with the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Part 107 regulations, which include passing the FAA’s Aeronautical Knowledge Test to obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate, flying below 400 feet, flying during the day, and never flying over people or from a moving vehicle.
  • All drone pilots must obtain necessary permits and permissions before flying in National Parks or over private property in accordance with Hawaii’s state laws and local ordinances, including but not limited to obtaining authorization for flights in controlled airspace from the FAA’s LAANC (Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability) system.

Penalties for Violating Drone Regulations

If you violate drone regulations in Maui, you could face significant penalties. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is responsible for enforcing these regulations and they can hand out fines ranging from $1,000 to $30,000, depending on the severity of the violation. The fines tend to be higher if the drone was being used for commercial purposes, as opposed to recreational use.

In addition to federal penalties, you could also be subject to local penalties. For instance, in Hawaii, violating state privacy laws by using a drone to spy on someone without their consent can lead to criminal penalties, including jail time. It’s also important to note that penalties can increase if your drone flight results in any kind of accident or harm to people or property.

Tips for Safe and Responsible Drone Flying in Maui

To ensure a positive drone flying experience and comply with the regulations, here are some essential tips to keep in mind:

  1. Understand Local Regulations: Familiarize yourself with Hawaiian drone laws and FAA regulations before operating to ensure legal and safe flight.
  2. Respect Wildlife: Avoid disturbing local wildlife, especially endangered species like sea turtles and monk seals, to prevent harm and legal repercussions.
  3. Maintain Line-of-Sight: Always keep your drone within visual sight to manage risks, avoid potential obstacles, and maintain control.
  4. Respect Privacy: Avoid flying over private property or populated areas without permission to respect residents’ privacy and prevent disturbances.
  5. Weather Awareness: Check the weather forecast before flying, considering Maui’s frequent wind and rain conditions that can affect drone safety.


Can I Fly My Drone at Night in Maui?

Yes, you can fly your drone at night in Maui. However, you must comply with FAA guidelines, which require a special waiver for nighttime operations. Ensure you follow all other local and federal drone regulations to maintain safety.

Can You Bring a Drone to Maui?

Yes, you can bring a drone to Maui. However, ensure to comply with local laws, FAA guidelines, and respect privacy and restricted areas. Always fly responsibly to preserve the beauty and serenity of the island.

Do I Need a License or Permit to Fly a Drone in Maui?

Yes, you do need a license or permit to fly a drone in Maui. The FAA requires drone pilots to have a Part 107 certification for commercial use. For recreational use, while a license isn’t required, adherence to FAA guidelines is mandatory.


Before you launch your drone into the Maui skies, it’s crucial to understand the area’s drone laws and regulations.

This applies not only to Maui but also to other destinations around the world. For example, if you’re heading to Vancouver, it’s important to know the specific rules and guidelines for drone flying there. Similarly, if you have dreams of capturing breathtaking footage of Shenandoah National Park or exploring drone opportunities around Australia, it’s essential to be aware of the local drone regulations in those locations as well.

Drone laws are subject to change, and information in this blog may become outdated; always consult official sources for the latest regulations.

So, whether you’re planning a leisurely flight or engaging in commercial drone operations, make sure to fly responsibly, and stay informed.

Resources and Further Information:

Photo of author
Peter Karanja is a licensed drone pilot from Kenya, freelance writer and drone enthusiast. He has been using drones for land survey, GIS, and photography for the past three years. Being a drone user, he loves writing about drone applications, safety tips for using drones, and the best ways to get the most out of a drone.

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