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Amazon delivery drones get go-ahead for US testing

Amazon has been given permission to conduct flight tests of its Prime Air package delivery drones on US soil…or air.

The US Federal Aviation Authority allows Amazon to now fly drones at a maximum height of 400ft – that’s about the height of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.

Amazon will also be able to fly its drones at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour, as long as they remain within line of sight over private property.

The unmanned aerial vehicles will also need to stay at least 500ft away from humans, as part of the FAA’s safety conscious rules.

It’s important to note that Amazon was actually already given permission to test its delivery drones on home soil late last month.

Unfortunately, the regulators had taken so long to come to this decision that the Amazon UAV in question is now obsolete.

Related: Drones in the UK: Where will they fly to next?

Speaking after the decision, Amazon’s VP for Global Public Policy Paul Misener said: “This approval came last Thursday, and we’re eager to get flying here as we have been abroad.”

“While the FAA was considering our applications for testing, we innovated so rapidly that the [drone] approved last week by the FAA has become obsolete. We don’t test it anymore. We’ve moved on to more advanced designs that we already are testing abroad.”

Amazon began testing drones at a secret facility in Canada last month, running trials on open land just 2000ft north of the US border.

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