The pilot working for Aerial Banners North was arrested at Dillingham Airfield Monday afternoon after the company's plane flew an aerial banner over Waikiki, according to attorney Michael McAllister.
The pilot was arrested just before 1 p.m. The city said the pilot was arrested because the same individual was cited by police earlier this month and now he is a repeat offender.
Matthew Radeck was released after posting $100 bail. Radeck says he's just doing his job, and he feels like public enemy #1.
"I was lawfully flying the airplane. I was arrested. I'm flabbergasted," said Radeck.
This was Radeck's second incident with police. The first was on July 4. He says the company isn't breaking any laws and couldn't believe it when he was taken to jail.
"I really think this whole thing has been, I don't know if I should say, blown out of proportion, but to be arrested for flying an airplane is not the right thing to do," said Radeck.
But, the city says otherwise.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has been in a war of words with Aerial Banners North since the company has been defying the city ordinance banning aerial banners and ignoring citations from the Honolulu Police Department.
"The police department is going to cite and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law," said Caldwell.
Radeck says the company's attorneys assured him that it is legal to fly in Hawaii. He says the company already has clients on Oahu that want to advertise and their banners are ready to fly. But, the company is still waiting for an all clear -- a call that the city isn't giving in to.
The banner that flew over Waikiki Monday morning said, "Advertising isn't just for politicians."
The company has argued that its Federal Aviation Administration certificate of waiver preempts the Honolulu ordinance and allows it to fly aerial banners over Oahu.
However, the FAA says the waiver does not supercede state or city law. FAA officials say the waiver is authorization for banner towing operations nationwide and if it conflicts with local laws, it is the operator's responsibility to resolve the matter.
Sen. Brian Schatz also reached out to the FAA and received a response that Honolulu's ordinance prohibiting aerial advertising remains valid.
Caldwell has asked the public to call 911 if they see the aerial banner.
Radeck says, "If our attorneys say we're good to fly, I will fly."
Radeck says the company has only one plane in Hawaii and doesn't plan on bringing any more to the islands. None of the banners flown so far have been advertisements because none of those were paid for.
Radeck is scheduled for two court appearances in August.
The Outdoor Circle is applauding the city for enforcing the ordinance prohibiting aerial advertising over Oahu.
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