The Federal Aviation Administration publishes the Federal Aviation Regulations, or as those in aviation know them, “FARs”.

There are multiple “Parts” in the FARs which apply to different aspects of aviation. For example, airlines fall under FAR Part 121, while other commercial air travel falls under FAR Part 135. Air tours in Hawaii abide by FAR Parts 91, 135, and 136. Law enforcement, the military, and other “utility” operations may only fall under FAR Part 91 or even other FARs, like Part 133 or 137.

These different FARs for different types of helicopters operations mean that air tours abide by the highest altitude restrictions and law enforcement, the military, and utility missions abide by the least restrictive altitude restrictions.

In short, the regulations that apply to different types of flights can get complicated very quickly and aviators are not only trained, but also evaluated yearly by the FAA on their understanding and comprehension of the various applicable FARs.


Understanding Controlled Airspace

Below is a sectional map of Honolulu depicting the boundaries of Class B “Bravo” Airspace.  All aircraft operating in this area are under the control of Air Traffic Control (ATC). Air traffic controllers do the following: Issue landing and takeoff instructions to pilots. Monitor and direct the movement of aircraft on the ground and in the air, using radar, computers, or visual references. Altitudes , airspeed, holds and all other instructions must be obeyed in this critical area to ensure the safety of both people on the ground and passengers in aircraft using this airspace.   

The primary purpose of ATC worldwide is to prevent collisions, organize and expedite the flow of air traffic, and provide information and other support for pilots.

Understanding Airspace – Class B (“Bravo”) – Honolulu


Understanding Airspace  – Class C (“Charlie”) – Maui


Understanding Airspace – General Information