The FAA just released a statement indicating that Amazon now has limited permission to test and develop drones in the United States. It’s not a blank check, though. The FAA gave Amazon strict rules and regulations.
Amazon announced its drone ambitions in October 2013 and has since been grounded by the FAA. The federal agency was not as enthusiastic about Amazon’s plans, forcing the company to test its projects overseas. Since then, Amazon has been building and developing its drone project at Cambridge.
Today’s news could bring the operation back to the states.
To use the drones stateside, Amazon must abide to several rules including keeping the drone under 400 feet and during daylight hours. The operator also must have a pilot’s and medical certification and most notably, keep the drone within sight at all times.
The FAA is also requiring Amazon to provide monthly data logs of flights and operators.
The drone industry is finally getting off the ground in the U.S. The FAA is finally responding to calls for action. Just last month the FAA finally published a basic set of rules and regulations relating to using drones for commercial purposes. But it took the FCC years to get to this point. The technology is simply outpacing regulation and the government agency is struggling to keep up.
TechCrunch has reached out to Amazon for comment.