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Amazon Petitions The FAA For Commercial Use Of Drones

July 10, 2014 - Amazon has petitioned the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the use of drones as part of its package delivery system. Amazon refers to this new delivery system as Amazon Prime Air. Amazon states it would like to deliver customer packages within 30 minutes. 

At present Amazon Prime Air are conducting tests on unmanned aircraft that can travel up to 50 per hour and carry a payload of five pounds. About 86 percent of Amazon's package deliveries are 5 pounds or less. 

In the petition that was sent out on Wednesday Amazon stated "We believe customers will love it, and we are committed to making Prime Air available to customers worldwide as soon as we are permitted to do so". 


At present the FAA allows private citizens to fly model aircraft with some restrictions however, commercial use of unmanned aircraft for the most part is not permitted. In its petition Amazon is requesting an exemption in order that the company can test its drones in the U.S. 

Amazon states its drone testing would only take place over Amazon's private property, away from airports or areas with aviation activity and not in densely populated areas or near military bases. At the present time the FAA has only certified two drone models and they can only be flown in Alaska. They are the manufactured by Boeing and the Insitu Group's ScanEagle, and AeroVironment's Puma. 

Back in 2013 congress directed the FAA to allow commercial use of drones by September 2015. Paul Misener, Amazon's vice president of global public policy said "We're continuing to work with the FAA to meet Congress's goal of getting drones flying commercially in America safely and soon. We want to do more research and development close to home."



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