Amazon Demands FAA Concessions On Outdoor Drone Trials

In response to the growing popularity of drones, the Federal Aviation Authority has started to modify its rules and regulations to include remote controlled aircraft. However, Amazon, which plans to use drones to deliver packages, warned the FAA that it needs to be more lenient with its regulation on the use of drones outdoors; otherwise the retailer will move its research teams out of the country.

Amazon has been planning to test drones for its Prime Air program and, back in July, approached the FAA for permission to test drones outdoors near Seattle where one of the company’s R&D labs is working on the tech. However, the FAA has been taking its time in giving its approval for the tests.


"Without the ability to test outdoors in the United States soon, we will have no choice but to divert even more of our [drone] research and development resources abroad," said Amazon vice president of global public policy Paul Misener in a letter to the FAA, reports The Wall Street Journal. "I fear the FAA may be questioning the fundamental benefits of keeping technology innovation in the United States.”

Amazon’s goal of introducing its drone delivery service has already been curtailed by the FAA. Commercial use of drones in the US, which includes test flights, are illegal and with an upcoming overhaul of the law expected to arrive in early 2015, could make things more difficult for the online retailer.