The plan for Amazon to begin shipping deliveries via drone is gathering pace as the company sent a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) this week. The global giant is “incredibly passionate about” its Amazon Prime Air feature. The service would see airborne drones delivering packages to registered customers “in 30 minutes or less,” according to the letter.
According to the letter, Amazon has said they are developing drones, which can travel over 50 miles per hour and be capable of carrying packages of up to 5 pounds. Amazon state that covers 86% of all the packages, which are sold on Amazon. It also asks the FAA to allow the company “expedited operational authorization” to develop and research civil unmanned aircraft under the FAA Modernization Reform Act of 2012.
Amazon’s VP of global public policy Paul Misener, said in the letter the company is already working on their eighth and ninth-generation drones, and they have been conducting private research indoors at a facility in Seattle. To begin testing the drones for outdoors use, however, Amazon will require special permission.
The FAA Modernization Reform Act of 2012 gave the FAA increased funding to update their air traffic control regulations. This was necessary before commercial drones can legally take to the skies. The act also allows for certain exemptions for the development and research of drones. That’s what Amazon is requesting in this letter.
People were initially sceptical of the drone plan, since the announcement first came to light just before the 2013 winter holiday season.
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[Image via pcworld]