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Amazon drone delivery service barred by new FAA rulebook

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Amazon Prime Air

The US Federal Aviation Administration has scuppered Amazon’s drone delivery plans yet again with a new rulebook that bars cargo dropping.

Amazon unveiled its Prime Air program back in 2013, detailing its efforts toward one day delivering packages via unmanned drones.

The fleet of drones would carry packages weighing 20kg or less to customers in record time, but the new rules won’t allow it.

The FAA’s proposed plan means that unmanned aircraft would not be able to drop off packages, directly opposing Prime Air.

The rules also suggest that unmanned aircraft weighing less than 25kg should only be allowed to fly between sunrise and sunset – no night-time droning.

Operators flying drones at altitudes below 500 feet would also have to keep the aircraft within line of sight, which could pose further issues for Prime Air.

Paul Misener, Amazon’s VP of global public policy, said to the Guardian: “The FAA needs to begin and expeditiously complete the formal process to address the needs of our business, and ultimately our customers.”

We are committed to realising our vision for Prime Air and are prepared to deploy where we have the regulatory support we need.”

Related: The most awesome drones and quadcopters we saw at CES 2015

The rules also state that drone operators need to be at least 17 years old, and will have to acquire an unmanned aircraft operator certificate.

It’s worth noting that the FAA’s latest set of rules is still in the proposal stage, and will have to pass public consultation before being enacted.

Amazon threatened to move its drone development division abroad back in December, responding to the FAA refusing to give the retail giant permission to test its drones outdoors.

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