FAA emphasizes drone restrictions ahead of First Family’s annual visit

Local News

The FAA released a warning on Wednesday for drone users: Keep the device grounded while President Obama is in town.

It’s one of the many restrictions in effect during the First Family’s annual vacation.

The First Family is expected to touch down in Hawaii on Friday, Dec. 18.

“We think it is cool that the president picks our town to visit of all the places in the world that he could go,” said Kailua resident Nichole Haaksma.

While security preparations have been going on for weeks, once the president gets here, that’s when you will start to see them go into effect.

“It did not affect us last year when we went down for Christmas it is just a small portion at the end that is closed,” added Haaksma.

The FAA will be placing temporary flight restrictions in the area from Dec. 18 until Jan. 3. The restricted airspace will extend between 10 and 30 nautical miles from the Kaneohe Marine Corps Base. That mean’s the area will be off limits to not only aircraft, but also drones and other unmanned aircraft.

“He is the president of the United States. I think he is afforded certain rights and especially during Christmas time. Everyone should be able to enjoy that time with family even if he is the president,” said Waimanalo resident Bertram Hartsock.

The FAA says drones have always been part of the flight restrictions, but a spokesman told KHON2 the agency is emphasizing the rule given the huge explosion in the use of drones.

“I think it is fine it is the president and we want to make sure that he is safe and if the drones are in an area they are not supposed to be then they shouldnt be there it is a very small period of the year to have to go without using your drone,” said Haaksma.

Anyone caught violating the flight restrictions can be detained by law enforcement. They can also face civil and criminal charges.

The area around Kailua Bay will also be off-limits to people and vessels.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories