Drone Safety

Got a drone? Learn the drone laws before you take flight!

Drone in Flight at Secret Beach

Aloha! Welcome to the Drone safety page of my photography Blog. My name is Anthony, and I am an Oahu photographer.

Whether you're a new drone pilot or have years of experience, rules and safety tips exist to help you fly safely in the national airspace. To get started, visit faa.gov/uas and be sure to select which type of drone user you are and find out what rules and regulations are applicable to your specific situation. You can then begin researching where it is safe to fly and when you need the approval to fly.

I have a DJI Mavic Pro and I registered it with the FAA. As an Oahu photographer I fly my drone for recreational purposes and when I fly I always call the Honolulu Air Traffic Control and I let them know my name, what type of drone I plan to fly, my location, when I plan to fly, and for how long. I also ask the individual their name and right it down and make a note of the time. I think keeping a flight log is a good practice.

Important Phone Number For Oahu

  • Honolulu Airport - Air Traffic Control (808) 840-6201
  • Kalailoa Airport - Air Traffic Control (808) 682-0091
  • Kaneohe Marine Corp Base Air Traffic Control (808) 257-8442

In Hawaii we have Helicopters flying about, all over the Islands and they don’t necessarily have a flight pattern. It is everyone's responsibility to keep the Air safe.

What are the safety guidelines for DRONE recreational users?

  • Obtain a remote pilot certificate from the FAA or operate within the programming of a community-based organization such as the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA).
  • Register with the FAA at https://faadronezone.faa.gov/.
  • Keep your Drone in eyesight at all times, and use an observer to assist if needed.
  • Remain well clear of and do not interfere with manned aircraft operations, and you must see and avoid other aircraft and obstacles at all times.
  • Do not intentionally fly over unprotected persons or moving vehicles, and remain at least 25 feet away from individuals and vulnerable property.
  • Contact the airport and control tower before flying within five miles of an airport or heliport. (Read about best practices here)
  • Do not fly in adverse weather conditions such as in high winds or reduced visibility.
  • Do not fly under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Ensure the operating environment is safe and that the operator is competent and proficient in the operation of the drone.
  • Do not fly near or over sensitive infrastructure or property such as power stations, water treatment facilities, correctional facilities, heavily traveled roadways, government facilities, etc.
  • Check and follow all local laws and ordinances before flying over private property.
  • Do not conduct surveillance or photograph persons in areas where there is an expectation of privacy without the individual’s permission (see AMA’s privacy policy).

The photo above is of Secret Beach at the Koolina Resort. A trendy Oahu photo session location.