As lava flies, nonemergency aircraft and drones are grounded temporarily

The temporary flight restriction includes drones, and was imposed so that nonessential flights don’t impede or endanger flights by emergency responders that include Hawaii County Fire Department helicopters tracking and assessing eruption activity.

University of Hawaii launches “drone boot camp”

So you bought a drone for yourself or for your child because it is one of the hottest items on the tech scene and seemed cool to fly one. But you didn’t know about all the are rules and regulations governing unmanned aircraft. If this is you, consider attending the first University of Hawaiʻi drone boot camp.

The camp is a chance to learn from experts best practices for flying drones including safety issues and legal guidelines. The event is scheduled for March 30, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. in Les Murakami Stadium on the UH Mānoa campus.

Tracking rising sea levels with drones at UH-Hilo

The University of Hawaii at Hilo is employing drones to track the impact of rising sea levels on Hawaii Island shores. Ryan Perroy, assistant professor of geography and environmental science, said the unmanned aerial vehicles are being used to get a bird’s-eye view and create three-dimensional images of shorelines at Hapuna Beach, Kapoho and Honolii.

Drones are increasingly popular in Hawaii, and some people want to reign in how and where the unmanned aircraft can be used. A bill — HB314 — would ban using drones to collect personal information and stop them from flying over schools, hospitals, churches or police stations without consent. That bill will be in the House Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection on Tuesday.

Report via the Associated Press. Track HB314 and submit testimony online:

Scientists Use Drones To Study Whales, Dolphins Off Hawaii For The First Time

Instead of the usual small survey boats, researchers worked off of a large ship and used a hexacopter drone to photograph the whales and dolphins — something that has not been employed before in this region. The leader of NOAA’s expedition Erin Oleson explained that using drones allowed researchers to get better images of groups of whales since they were not disturbed by an approaching boat.

Civil Geeks: New Rules Open Hawaii’s Skies To Commercial Drones

Commonly referred to as drones to the chagrin of many experts, unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS, certainly have captured the imagination of the public, whether as revolutionary tools that can transform whole industries or as nefarious agents of surveillance. But while they have been getting easier to buy or even build, it has been difficult to use them for more than recreation.

The new rules, referred to as Part 107 of the nation’s federal aviation regulations, are poised to change that.

Drone racing: New pursuit attempts to fly into the mainstream

Richard Molina has seen the growth of the sport personally on the Big Island. He began his Kona club last November. Since then, the membership has grown to nearly 150 pilots, with 100 signing up over the last month as the team prepares for the Hawaii State FPV Championships in Maul on June 25 and 26.