Amazon, the online retail giant who unveiled their Prime Air program at the end of last year that saw the possibility of drones performing deliveries to its customers, intends to test out their collection of unmanned delivery aircraft near its Seattle headquarters. This is in stark contrast to the half dozen FAA-approved sites that are located elsewhere in the U.S., and in order to do so, they will need permission from the FAA in order to go ahead with such testing.
Amazon did send a letter earlier in the week to ask for permission from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in order to let up on its restrictions when it comes to drone-testing within the U.S. so that Amazon will be able to go ahead and perform experiments flying its unmanned aircraft outdoors.
The Amazon Prime Air, if launched, will target to be able to carry packages that could weigh up to five pounds to customers’ homes, where the drones involved have a speed of up to 50 miles per hour. So far, the timeframe for implementation remains uncertained. Right now, the FAA has drawn the line that unmanned aerial vehicles (drones included) will only be able to see action as a recreational device only, and not for commercial purposes, at least until they have the relevant regulations in place. The six sanctioned outdoor drone-testing sites in the U.S. are situated in Alaska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Texas and Virginia.