Aloha Chapter Learns about Drone Law and Practice

The Aloha chapter met for its quarterly lunch at the Oahu Country Club on June 1 to hear a presentation on drone law and practice by attorneys Janel Yoshimoto and Imram Naeemullah of JMY Law Group LLLC and Steve Hochart, Hawaii Director and Senior Project Manager of Dudek, a consulting firm of planners, engineers and and scientists founded in California with offices in Hawaii. A drone is a small unmanned aircraft system (UAS) or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) which for federal regulatory purposes, weighs less than 50 pounds but more than half a pound. Such drones must be registered with the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA). Commercial drones are limited to a maximum speed of 100 mph and a maximum elevation of 400 feet, may not fly over people or out of the visual line of sight of the operator, nor may it approach within 4 miles of an airport. State and local laws regulate how close to private property such drones may fly under 50 feet. Drones may or may not be shot down over private property depending upon the jurisdiction and the level of intrusion into private airspace. Drones are used commercially for surface mapping, inspection of crops or buildings, high-definition imagery, infrastructure inspection, wetland delineation, and subsurface magnetometric mapping, all at a fraction of the cost of more conventional means. Aside from regulation, one of the major limitations on the use of drones is battery life.

David Callies



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