Amazon drone testing gets FAA approval
Amazon’s plans to begin testing drones for online deliveries have been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The FAA has granted Amazon a certificate for people with pilot’s licenses to test the unmanned aircraft.
The drones must be flown at 400 ft or below during daylight hours, and must remain within sight of the pilot.
Under US law, operating drones for commercial purposes is illegal.
However, those rules are under revision by the FAA, which is expected to issue new rules regarding the operation of unmanned aircraft for commercial and recreational purposes.
Amazon had asked the FAA for approval to begin the tests in July 2014.
In December 2014, the company warned that it might begin testing the program – known as Amazon Air – in other countries.
“Without approval of our testing in the United States, we will be forced to continue expanding our Prime Air R&D footprint abroad,” wrote Paul Misener, Amazon’s vice president of global public policy, in a letter to the FAA at the time.
As part of this ruling, Amazon must also provide data on the number of flights conducted and any other relevant information, on a monthly basis.
Amazon announced in December 2013 that it was going to begin trialing delivery to some customers by drone.
Chinese internet giant Alibaba, Google and parcel service UPS are among other companies carrying out more private trials of drones.
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