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FAA gives Amazon OK to test delivery drones

Published: April 14, 2015

After being stalled by new Federal Aviation Administration proposals regarding drones, Amazon has been given permission to move forward with tests of delivery craft.

The FAA dictates that Amazon’s drones must fly no higher than 400 feet and speeds may not exceed 100 mph. If fully approved, Amazon’s drones could deliver packages 10 miles or more distant from its distribution centers.

Amazon had requested an exemption to develop its PrimeAir drone delivery system. “We’re pleased the FAA has granted our petition for this stage of R&D experimentation, and we look forward to working with the agency for permission to deliver Prime Air service to customers in the United States safely and soon,” writes Paul Misener, Amazon’s Vice President of Global Public Policy.

The latest FAA proposals prohibit Amazon drones from flying over people or at night, or to drop anything from the air. Although not required to be a licensed aircraft pilot, the operator must be FAA-certified and may fly only one drone at a time. Payloads will be limited to 55 pounds, and filming from the drone is not permitted.