Drone Laws in Hawaii

Drone Law in Hawaii: What You Need to Know in 2024

Welcome to the breathtaking Hawaiian Islands, where the beauty of nature and the excitement of drone flying come together.

However, it’s crucial to remember that drone flying in Hawaii comes with specific rules and regulations.

Read on to learn about the 2024 drone law in Hawaii and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

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Hawaii Drone Laws 2024

All drone pilots in Hawaii must follow these drone laws:

  • Drone operators in Hawaii must register their drones with the FAA and mark them with the registration number.
  • Drone pilots in Hawaii must obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate by passing an aeronautical knowledge test.
  • For commercial drone operations in Hawaii, pilots must have a Part 107 license from the FAA.
  • Drones in Hawaii must be flown below 400 feet and within the visual line of sight of the pilot.
  • Drone flight near airports, over people, at night, and in other restricted airspace is prohibited in Hawaii without FAA waivers.
  • Hawaii drone operators must follow FAA safety rules for maintenance, pre-flight inspections, and repairs.
  • Additional county or city ordinances may restrict drone use in parts of Hawaii

Understanding Hawaii’s Drone Laws

Both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and local regulations govern drone laws in Hawaii. Familiarity with these rules is vital for all drone pilots, recreational or commercial, to evade restricted airspace, safeguard the environment, and uphold everyone’s safety.

We now proceed to examine the FAA regulations and local Hawaii laws influencing drone flying in this paradise.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Regulations

The FAA is a key player in the regulation of drone operations in Hawaii and throughout the United States.

For commercial drone pilots, FAA’s Part 107 governs their operations, including maintaining line-of-sight with the unmanned aircraft, not interfering with other aircraft, and operating in a responsible manner.

On the other hand, recreational drone pilots must follow the Exception for Limited Recreational use, which entails maintaining visual contact with the drone, avoiding any contact with manned aircraft, and exercising due caution while flying.

Registration of drones weighing over 0.55 lbs is mandatory, except for those operated under the Exception for Limited Recreational use.

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Local Hawaii Laws

In addition to FAA regulations, local Hawaii laws impose some additional restrictions on drone use. For instance, flying drones in Hawaii’s state parks is prohibited, as is flying near military facilities.

However, drone flying is allowed in certain areas of Haleakala National Park, subject to specific conditions, such as flying between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., and not flying at the summit, which is designated as a wilderness area.

Drone pilots must be conscious of Hawaii drone laws, local drone laws, and abide by them for a safe and enjoyable flying experience in Hawaii.

Recreational Drone Pilots: What You Need to Know

Recreational drone pilots in Hawaii must follow specific guidelines to ensure safe and responsible flying when they fly drones.

These guidelines include registering your drone (if it weighs over 0.55 lbs), passing the TRUST safety test, and adhering to FAA rules and local regulations.

In the subsequent subsections, these requirements will be thoroughly discussed.

Drone Registration Process

If you own a drone weighing more than 0.55 lbs, you must register it with the FAA.

This applies to both residents and non-residents flying drones in Hawaii.

The registration process requires a $5 fee, and upon completion, you will be assigned a unique registration number.

This registration number must be displayed prominently on your drone, as it helps authorities identify the owner in case of an incident or accident.

Adherence to the registration process is paramount for upholding FAA regulations compliance and safeguarding all airspace users.

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TRUST Safety Test

The TRUST safety test is a mandatory requirement for recreational drone pilots in Hawaii.

This test ensures that pilots understand the rules and guidelines for safe drone operation, as well as the FAA regulations that apply to them.

The test covers various aspects of drone safety, including airspace classification, meteorology, and aviation regulations.

The remote pilot knowledge test can be taken for free online through any FAA-approved testing center. These approved test administrators offer the flexibility to take the test at your own pace.

Here are some key points about the testing process:

  1. The test is free for everyone at FAA-approved testing centers. There are no fees.
  2. You can review your answers and make corrections before submitting the test. This allows you to get 100% on the test before obtaining your completion certificate.
  3. Make sure to save or print your completion certificate after finishing the test. The FAA will require this documentation.
  4. If you lose your completion certificate, you will have to retake the test to get a new one.
  5. A list of approved testing centers is available on the FAA website. Take advantage of the free and convenient online testing option.

Passing the TRUST safety test evidences your comprehension of responsible drone flying, thereby guaranteeing a hassle-free drone flying experience in Hawaii.

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Hawaii Drone Rules and Guidelines

Recreational drone pilots in Hawaii must adhere to the following rules:

  • Maintain line-of-sight with the drone
  • Fly below 400 feet in uncontrolled airspace
  • Avoid flying in restricted areas
  • Avoid flying over people
  • Refrain from flying near airports

These rules are in accordance with FAA regulations, local laws, and federal laws.

Additionally, it is highly recommended that recreational pilots obtain insurance coverage for their drones, especially when flying in public spaces. Adherence to these rules and guidelines allows recreational drone pilots to appreciate Hawaii’s beauty while maintaining everyone’s safety.

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Commercial Drone Operations in Hawaii

Commercial drone operations in Hawaii require additional steps compared to recreational pilots. These steps include obtaining a Remote Pilot Certificate, securing insurance, and meeting state jurisdiction requirements.

These requirements will be further elaborated in the subsequent subsections.

Obtaining a Remote Pilot Certificate

If you plan to use your drone for commercial purposes in Hawaii, you must obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate by passing the FAA’s Part 107 Knowledge Test.

This test covers various aspects of drone safety and operation, including airspace classification, meteorology, and aviation regulations.

Upon successful completion of the Part 107 Knowledge Test and obtaining your FAA Tracking Number (FTN), you will be granted your Remote Pilot Certificate. With this certificate, you can legally offer services such as aerial photography, videography, and thermal imaging inspections in Hawaii.

Insurance Considerations

Insurance is an essential aspect of commercial drone operations in Hawaii. It provides coverage in the event of an accident and protects both the drone operator and any third parties involved. Some common commercial drone operations that may require insurance include aerial photography, videography, and thermal imaging inspections.

Reviewing the specific insurance requirements for your intended commercial drone operations and obtaining sufficient coverage is crucial.

By obtaining the necessary insurance, you can focus on providing exceptional services to your clients while mitigating any potential risks associated with your drone operations.

Additional State Jurisdiction Requirements

In addition to federal regulations, commercial drone operators must also comply with any additional state jurisdiction requirements in Hawaii. These requirements may include obtaining state-specific authorizations or permits, following specific flight regulations, or registering your drone with the state aviation authority.

Thorough research on the applicable state regulations for your commercial drone operations, ensuring compliance with both federal and state requirements, is paramount.

By doing so, you can operate your commercial drone legally and provide valuable services to your clients in Hawaii.

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Hawaii’s No-Fly Zones and Restricted Airspace

For drone pilots, both recreational and commercial, awareness and avoidance of Hawaii’s no-fly zones and restricted airspace is a necessity.

In the subsequent subsections, we will tackle tools and resources to help pinpoint these areas for safe and legal drone operation in Hawaii.


The B4UFLY app, developed by the FAA, is an invaluable resource for drone pilots in Hawaii to identify no-fly zones and restricted airspace.

While the app does not provide airspace authorizations directly, it is an excellent starting point for identifying areas of concern and planning safe flight paths for your drone.

Controlled Airspace Authorization

To fly your drone in controlled airspace in Hawaii, you must obtain authorization through the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) system or other FAA-approved methods. LAANC is a system designed for drone pilots and unmanned aircraft systems.

It’s available to those following Part 107 of the Small UAS Rule as well as those flying recreationally under an exception.

Currently, LAANC is offered at 8 airports in Hawaii. By obtaining the necessary airspace authorizations, you can ensure safe and legal drone operation while enjoying the breathtaking beauty of the Hawaiian Islands.

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Best Locations for Drone Flying in Hawaii

Hawaii is renowned for its stunning landscapes, making it an ideal place for drone flying. Nonetheless, adherence to FAA rules and local restrictions is essential when operating your drone in these picturesque locales.

Some popular spots for drone flying in Hawaii include beautiful beaches, lush forests, and scenic mountain ranges.

While the thrill of capturing breathtaking aerial footage is undeniable, always prioritize safety and legal compliance.

Before flying your drone in any location, research local restrictions, avoid no-fly zones, and follow FAA regulations to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Remember, some areas, like Hawaii’s state parks and wilderness areas, including Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, may have additional restrictions that require special permission or are off-limits altogether.

By staying informed and adhering to the rules, you can enjoy the unique beauty that the Hawaiian Islands have to offer while capturing amazing aerial footage.

Traveling with Your Drone to Hawaii

Generally, traveling to Hawaii with a drone is unrestricted, yet checking airline policies on lithium batteries and other drone-related items is a must.

Most airlines require lithium batteries to be carried in your carry-on luggage, and it’s essential to pack your drone securely to prevent damage during transit.

Upon arrival in Hawaii, be sure to follow all local and federal regulations, including registering your drone, obtaining the necessary permits, and adhering to the FAA’s rules and guidelines.

Additionally, remember that launching, landing, or flying drones is not permitted in Hawaii’s state parks, so plan your drone flying activities accordingly.

By preparing beforehand and adhering to the appropriate guidelines, you can relish your drone flying experience in Hawaii, maintaining the safety and enjoyment of all participants.


In conclusion, drone flying in Hawaii offers a unique opportunity to capture stunning aerial footage of the beautiful Hawaiian Islands.

By understanding and adhering to federal and local drone laws, both recreational and commercial drone pilots can enjoy a safe and successful drone flying experience.

Remember to always prioritize safety, follow guidelines, and respect the environment and other airspace users.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I fly my drone on Waikiki Beach?

Yes, you can fly a drone on Waikiki Beach, as long as you follow the rules set out by the FAA and local government. However, it is important to note that fines for recreational violations can be hefty, so it is best to check all regulations prior to take-off.

Can you fly drone in Hawaii State Park?

Flying drones is strictly prohibited in Hawaii State Parks, and violations of this rule may be reported to enforcement officers. Alcoholic beverages, smoking, tobacco products and begging/soliciting are also forbidden.

Can I fly my drone in Kauai?

You can fly your drone in Kauai, but you must obtain approval from the Kauai Police Department and follow certain restrictions such as maintaining a minimum altitude of 400 feet and avoiding any flights over populated areas.

Can you fly a drone on Mauna Kea?

Given that drone operations within the boundaries of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park and Maunakea Science Reserve are prohibited, it is not permissible to fly a drone on Mauna Kea.

Do you need a permit to fly a drone in Hawaii?

You do not need a permit to fly a drone recreationally in Hawaii, as long as you adhere to the FAA’s recreational model aircraft rules and have taken their Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST). However, if you plan to use your drone commercially, you must first obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate (RPC) or Part 107 certificate.

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