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Amazon to Test Drone Delivery in the States Following FAA Permission

UPDATE:

It has since emerged that the FAA statement given to Amazon was for an OLD version of the Prime Air Drone. You can read about the update to this story here.

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The FAA have recently released a statement stating that Amazon now has limited permission to test and develop drones in the United States. This comes bundled with a whole bunch of strict rules and regulations handed to Amazon by the FAA.

Amazon first announced its plans for a drone based payload delivery system back in October 2013 but was grounded by the FAA when they reviewed the laws surrounding drone use in the USA. The federal agency was not overly enthusiastic about Amazon’s plans, which led to the company testing its projects overseas. Since then, Amazon has been building and developing its drone project at Cambridge.

Amazon may well now be looking to return this research to the US, assuming they can do this and follow several rules including keeping the drone under 400 feet and during daylight hours, I’m sure amazon can manage that. The operator also must have a pilot’s and medical certification and most notably, keep the drone within sight at all times, this bit however kind of defeats the purpose of an “automated delivery system”.

The FAA is also requiring Amazon to provide monthly data logs of flights and operators.

The drone industry is growing slowly in the US but it is repeatedly being hamstrung by the FAA and FCC. Last month the FAA finally published a basic set of rules and regulations relating to using drones for commercial purposes. But it took the FCC years to get to this point. The technology is outpacing regulation and the government agency is struggling to keep up. Requiring to keep drones within line of site makes the whole purpose of commercial delivery drones null and void.

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