Hawaii Drone Laws (2017)


NOTICE: This article is for information purposes only!  This article is ONLY for state laws that are DRONE specific. Local laws and “aircraft” related laws could potentially apply and were outside of the focus of this article. It might NOT be up to date. You should seek out a competent attorney licensed in the state you are interested in before operating.

Traveling? Click here to see other US drone laws by state.

 Current as of February 21, 2017

Hawaii Statutes Section 201-72.6  Hawaii unmanned aerial systems test site advisory board; established. 

(a)  There is 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.

(b)  The board shall be composed of seven members as follows:

     (1)  The adjutant general, or the adjutant general’s designee;

     (2)  The director of transportation, or the director’s designee;

     (3)  The director of business, economic development, and tourism, or the director’s designee;

     (4)  The president of the University of Hawaii, or the president’s designee;

     (5)  One member representing the Hawaii business community, to be appointed by the governor pursuant to section 26-34; and

     (6)  Two members representing the aerospace or aviation industries, to be appointed by the governor pursuant to section 26-34.

     Each board member shall serve for a term of four years; provided that the initial terms shall be staggered, as determined by the governor.

(c)  Members of the board shall not receive compensation for their services but shall be reimbursed for necessary expenses, including travel expenses, incurred in the performance of their duties under this section. [L 2015, c 208, pt of §2]

Section 201‑72.7  Hawaii unmanned aerial systems test site chief operating officer.

The department shall hire a chief operating officer who shall manage the operations of Hawaii’s unmanned aerial systems test site.  The chief operating officer shall:

(1)  Monitor, oversee, and recommend operations of unmanned aerial systems test site activities;

(2)  Facilitate opportunities for public and private use of unmanned aerial systems test site facilities;

(3)  Assist unmanned aerial systems test ranges;

(4)  Leverage aerospace and related technological capabilities in the State’s academic, public, and private sectors to support testing and evaluation at Hawaii’s unmanned aerial systems test ranges;

(5)  Promote innovative education and workforce development programs to enhance public awareness of the benefits and opportunities that unmanned aerial systems technologies and applications can bring to the State;

(6)  Monitor national and global trends in unmanned aerial systems development and testing, and recommend policies and programs to advance unmanned aerial systems testing in Hawaii;

(7)  Establish and maintain a public website with updated information on the program and provide information on the Hawaii unmanned aerial systems test site initiative;

(8)  Contract for services and implement agreements, subject to chapter 103D, as may be necessary to conduct operations at Hawaii’s unmanned aerial systems test ranges;

(9)  Serve as Hawaii’s representative on the Pan-Pacific Unmanned Aerial Systems Test Range Complex management team; and

(10)  Submit an annual report to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of each regular session, which shall include the status of work, expenditures, and trends regarding Hawaii’s unmanned aerial systems test site.

The chief operating officer may employ one administrative assistant for Hawaii’s unmanned aerial systems test site operations and activities.

The advisory board submitted to the governor and legislature a report.

Hawaii Administrative Rules  § 13-146-28 Modelcraft operation; kite flying.

No person shall operate motorized aircraft, automobile, watercraft and other similar models except with the, written permission of the board or its authorized representative. Kites shall not be flown where kite flying is specifically prohibited by the posting of appropriate signs.

It looks like the Hawaii Division of State Parks believes that “[t]he use, launching or landing of drones or other types of aircraft is prohibited” in Hawaii state parks.

You should reach out to the Hawaii Drone Club for the best locations to fly.

Want All the State Drone Laws in a PDF?

Sign up for the drone newsletter and receive the PDF and great articles.

Powered by ConvertKit

Jonathan Rupprecht

Mr. Rupprecht is an aviation attorney who focuses on drones. Read more about his background as a commercial pilot, flight instructor, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University grad, and legal author. He has had media appearances on Forbes, Newsweek, Politico, NPR, Marketwatch, The Independent, Motherboard, and other sources. Feel free to send Jonathan a message here.