Digital Transformation

Amazon requests permission for next stage of drone testing in the US

By Angela Haggerty | Reporter

July 13, 2014 | 3 min read

Amazon has taken a step further towards the creation of delivery drones with a request to the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) to test them.

Testing: Amazon is exploring the use of delivery drones

In the letter, Amazon head of public policy Paul Misener requested rules around testing for commercial enterprises be relaxed in order to “keep the focus, jobs, and investment of this important research and development initiative in the United States”. Currently, Amazon has been testing its drones either indoors or in other countries.

“Granting Amazon an exemption to allow R&D testing outdoors in the United States is in the public interest because it advances Congress’s goal of getting commercial sUAS flying in the United States safely and soon,” Misener wrote.

“It is a necessary step towards realising the consumer benefits of Amazon Prime Air and, at this point, Amazon’s continuing innovation in the United States requires the requested exemption for outdoor testing in support of our R&D.”

Amazon first revealed its drone plans in December last year. In the letter sent to the FAA on 9 July, Misener said Amazon had made advancements in the last five months and had been working with roboticists, scientists, remote sensing experts and even a former Nasa astronaut.

“One day, seeing Amazon Prime Air will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road today, resulting in enormous benefits for consumers across the nation. We respectfully submit this petition for exemption so that Prime Air can be ready to launch commercial operations as soon as eventually permitted by subsequent FAA action,” Misener said.

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