Amazon Earns FAA Experimental Permit to Test Drones
Amazon.com and the US government have recently gone head to head over drone use.
The Federal Aviation Administration ruled in February of 2015 that unmanned commercial drone flights would not be permitted as new regulations require drone operators to be within sight of their air vehicle at all times.
Amazon has threatened to move their research operations and programs overseas if the FAA continues to fight them on approving their unmanned test flights.
Amazon is hoping to use drones as a way to deliver small packages, such as books or items weighing less than 5lbs within 10 miles of their packing facilities. This is a revolutionary form of delivery, and Amazon is undoubtedly attempting to be the first on this exciting bandwagon.
In response to the threats made by Amazon, the FAA granted Amazon rights to fly its drones during daylight hours within 400 feet of the ground. The permit requires Amazon to hire a licensed pilot to operate the device, which further complicates what Amazon hopes to accomplish down the road.
Despite their back and forth, Amazon and the FAA have seemingly struck a deal that leaves other companies in the dust. Amazon is the only business to be granted access to an experimental airworthiness certificate for its drone use, as 44 others have only been given waivers for their commercial drone flights.
Since the FAA approved Amazonâ€™s aircraft design, they receive a broader range of flight access than those with a waiver alone.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is hoping to program unmanned aircrafts to deliver their products all while dodging unforeseen objects on its own. This could potential cause problems, according to the FAA.
Amazon is hoping that the FAA will bend these rules after they hone their craftâ€™s ability to navigate properly, and the experimental permit should help the company do this.
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