Amazon may have been the company that put the idea of delivery drones in the spotlight, but regulatory restrictions have made actually testing and implementing those drones a tedious process. The company has only just now received approval from the FAA to begin testing its latest models of drones, but even that approval was accompanied by a plethora of restrictions.
Amazon can finally test its latest Prime Air drones in United States airspace, thanks to a new approval waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration. In a letter dated Wednesday, the FAA told Paul Misener, Amazon’s VP of global public policy, that Amazon may begin testing its latest models of drones provided they don’t fly higher than 400 feet or travel faster than 100 mph. “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,” Misener told ReadWrite via email. Previously, when Amazon asked the FAA for an exemption to test its drones, the department took a year and a half to respond. By then, the specific model of drone the FAA had granted Amazon approval to test had long been obsolete.