While Amazon.com Inc. (Amazon) did receive approval to fly its test drones from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) back in March of this year for its July 2014 request, that approval proved to be useless after Amazon updated its drone technology before receiving its first approval. The FAA’s drone approval process was conducted slower than the drone innovation process. But on April 10, 2015, Amazon received official approval from the FAA to test its updated aerial delivery drones. The FAA gave Amazon a two-year exemption from the federal ban on commercial drone use, but will require Amazon to follow its recently issued guidelines which require Amazon’s test delivery drones to stay below 400 feet and travel no faster than 100 miles per hour. Amazon hopes to build a system by which it can deliver products to your doorsteps in 30 minutes if you choose its Prime Air delivery.
Amazon’s Vice President of Global Public Policy, Paul Misener said,
We’re pleased the FAA has granted our petition for this stage of R&D experimentation, and we look forward to working with the agency for permission to deliver Prime Air service to customers in the United States safely and soon.
However, Misener did add that the FAA was the only organization that Amazon worked with that took longer than two months to approve its drone testing. Other organizations outside of the United States approved this testing with much more efficiency. Perhaps the FAA’s guidelines are stricter than other countries, or perhaps we just aren’t ready to see our Amazon packages flying above our heads just quite yet.