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At the first-ever “Drone Day” held at the State Capitol, representatives from KS shared reasoning behind and results of its industry-leading Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS, commonly known as drones) Program. The KS employees who are part of the program are certified by the Federal Aviation Administration and also go through rigorous hand-on training before engaging in flights.

“Drone Day” at Capitol features KS’ innovative flight program

Jan. 29, 2019

Representatives from Kamehameha Schools presented reasoning behind and results of its industry-leading Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS, commonly known as drones) Program at the first-ever “Drone Day” held Thursday, Jan. 24, at the State Capitol in Honolulu.

State House Rep. Angus McKelvey – who represents the 10th District encompassing West Maui, Ma‘alaea and North Kīhei – organized the event along with the Consumer Technology Association as a way for fellow legislators to learn more about the booming drone industry as policymakers prepare to shape new policies and procedures around the rapidly evolving technology. Representatives from government and private companies also took part in the information-sharing forum including Blue Hawai‘i Helicopters, drone manufacturer DJI, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific and the University of Hawai‘i.

KS’ UAS Program was implemented in 2018 to improve land management operations, document and showcase historic and culturally significant sites, enhance safety systems for staff and students, and explore its potential use as a learning tool. The UAS approach is an efficient and cost-effective way to assess the nearly 364,000 acres of KS ‘āina dedicated to agriculture, conservation, education and commercial uses.

For more information, visit www.ksbe.edu/UAS.  

As a reminder, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulates all airspace and recognizes three categories of unmanned aircraft system pilots: 1) hobbyist/ recreational; 2) public/government; and 3) civil/commercial. Kamehameha Schools is in the commercial category and trained operators fly within strict FAA guidelines. Only employees who are certified and part of KS unmanned aircraft teams may fly over company property.


The UAS approach is an efficient and cost-effective way to assess the nearly 364,000 acres of KS ‘āina dedicated to agriculture, conservation, education and commercial uses.



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student safety, sp2020 goal 2, sp2020 goal 3

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