FAA grants approval to Amazon to test its Delivery Drones

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Amazon approved to start testing on April, 8, 2015


Amazon’s original request was dated July 9, 2014, so the approval process took nine months.  This delay forced Amazon to set up operations and start testing in Canada.

The FAA has defined 28 Conditions and Limitations

FAA_Logo_150412We have reviewed all the FAA’s conditions and limitations.  Here are our “Top 5” , not listed in order of importance:

  1. Motion picture and TV filming is not allowed
  2. No night time operations
  3. Drone speed cannot exceed 100 mph
  4. Maximum altitude, 400′
  5. No operations to be conducted within 5 miles of an airport

Amazon’s overall goal:

In it’s July 9, 2014 letter to the FAA, Amazon stated it’s overall goal was to develop the capability to deliver packages to customers in <30 minutes.

Amazon’s intentions in this stage of PrimeAir development:

Here are some of the key points/design requirements defined by Amazon in its application to the FAA

  1. Looking for approval to cover multiple designs
  2. Power Source:  Battery powered rotors
  3. Maximum Weight:  55lbs
  4. Operations will be conducted over isolated Amazon private property and supervised by a designated pilot in command
  5. All flights will be in line of sight of of an operator and/or observers who will maintain two-way communications.
  6. Each observer will be able to force a controlled landing

When will Amazon’s PrimeAir deliver an order to its first customer?:

What are your thoughts?

  1. Will PrimeAir operate in tandem with surface deliveries?
  2. Could the Value Innovation Process(R) reduce development times and make package delivery by drones a commercial reality?
  3. Will companies like Airbus, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman, others get into the development and manufacture of commercial drones?

Want to read more about Amazon’s request to the FAA?:

Go to FAA’s letter to Paul Misener

This good news for Amazon was reported by Mariella Moon, “Amazon can finally test its delivery drones in the US” in engadget on April 10, 2015.

Ms Moon also shared,”  In addition to Amazon, dozens of other companies’ requests were approved at the same time, and faster than before, as well. That’s thanks to the FAA’s new approach in granting permissions to fly low-risk UAVs. More often than not, these are drones used by film/TV companies and by those conducting tests to gather data for future purposes, like the e-commerce website.”  Read More

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