Around this time last year, Amazon unveiled its delivery drone prototypes in this 60 minute interview with Jeff Bezos, and the launch of ‘Amazon Prime Air’ was anticipated within 4-5 years. However, over the past year, the company has become increasingly frustrated with the Federal Aviation Association’s hesitance to approve commercial drones.
Amazon’s vice president of global public policy, Paul Misener, wrote to the FAA this weekend and issued an ultimatum – stating that unless Amazon is granted permission to test fly its drones, the innovative firm will continue its research and development elsewhere.
The most recent rules established by the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, prevented Amazon from testing the drones outdoors in Seattle near the company’s headquarters. This led to Miseners first letter to the FAA in July last year, in which he requested for Amazon to be released from the rules established by the Act. However this request was denied and the company was forced to perform its drone testing in the UK instead.
Misener has vented his frustration with the FAA, in stating ‘I fear the FAA may be questioning the fundamental benefits of keeping [drone] technology innovation in the United States.’
With the drones intended to deliver customers packages in a time-frame of 30 minutes or less, Amazon Prime Air will be an excellent move forward within the ecommerce sphere – provided the firm is facilitated in its research. Let’s hope that the FAA gets its act together soon.
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