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Amazon considers moving Prime Air drones abroad after FAA block

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Amazon Prime Air

Amazon has threatened to jump ship from the USA in terms of drone research after failing to get the Federal Aviation Administration on side.

The retail giant has been struggling to woo the FAA since it first sought permission to test delivery drones outdoors in July.

The firm has now responded to the FAA’s cold shoulder with a letter detailing how a move abroad could be the only option for Amazon drone trials.

Paul Misener, Amazon’s VP of global public policy, wrote: “Without approval of our testing in the United States, we will be forced to continue expanding our Prime Air R&D footprint abroad.”

Amazon wants to test the drones in pursuit of its ‘Prime Air’ concept, which would see small packages delivered to customers by drones in 30 minutes or less.

Obviously Amazon would prefer to conduct its trials on home soil (or air, rather), but the FAA’s refusal to grant permission for outdoor testing makes this legally impossible.

Aside from drones, Amazon is also currently testing one-hour bike deliveries right now in Manhattan, New York.

The firm is working with three courier firms to run time trials with messenger cyclists, with the fastest getting a look in as Amazon’s go-to Prime Now couriers.

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