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UAS Program

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), commonly known as drones, is an innovative approach by Kamehameha Schools to improve land management operations, enhance safety systems for our staff and students and explore potential uses as a learning tool for haumāna. Unmanned Aircraft Systems, the preferred term within the growing industry, represents an efficient and cost-effective way to assess the nearly 364,000 acres of KS' agriculture, conservation, education and commercial lands. One of the program's objectives is to make assessments safer, faster and less expensive.

The Kamehameha Schools’ use of unmanned aircraft offers many benefits:

  • Education – sports monitoring/recording for the athletics department to train and improve student athlete skills. Innovating in and outside the classroom (videography, science, math, physics, technology, aeronautical knowledge)
  • Security – perimeter monitoring and enhanced visual understanding of KS property
  • Campus Facilities – planning and monitoring of enhancements and repairs to campus facilities
  • Asset Management – land planning, preparation, leasing, and inspections. Improve efficiency, effectiveness, accuracy and retention of observations (especially in remote areas) – identifying areas of concern or opportunity, monitoring change/growth/health over time. While unmanned aircrafts will not eliminate the use of helicopters, it will cost-effectively reduce these traditional assessment techniques
  • Natural and Cultural Resources – inventory and monitor natural resources and cultural sites and landscapes. Assist in identifying pests and invasive species
  • ‘Aina Engagement – analyzing shoreline area over time, inspecting and monitoring of land–based facilities (roofs, solar panels), regulates water systems, sustainability, planning and entitlements, and land-based education programs
  • Disaster assessment – After a severe storm, wild fire or other disaster resulting in damaged real property, unmanned aircrafts can be used to conduct a thorough assessment and pinpoint recovery needs across our lands

Important note: The Federal Aviation Administration regulates all airspace and has 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 fly within strict FAA guidelines. Only employees who are certified and part of Kamehameha Schools unmanned aircraft teams may fly on company property.

If you are a hobbyist or recreational pilot, or want more information, here are some links that may be helpful.


Kawaiaha‘o Plaza

567 South King St
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 523-6200

KS Hawai‘i

16-716 Volcano Rd
Kea‘au, HI 96749
(808) 982-0000

KS Kapālama

1887 Makuakāne St
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 842-8211

KS Maui

275 ‘A‘apueo Pkwy
Pukalani, HI 96768
(808) 572-3100