The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has given Amazon permission to start testing its delivery drones in the United States, The Verge reports.
The company had threatened to take its operations overseas if the FAA didn’t allow it to begin outdoor testing and even filmed a promo video for the drones outside of the US because of concerns it would violate FAA regulations. Last year Google tested its delivery drones in Queensland because of similar concerns.
Over the past few months the FAA has been working to help commercialise drone flight and has begun granting exemptions to companies that want to begin field testing their drones.
In a statement announcing the exemption, the FAA said all flight operations must be conducted at 400 feet or below during daylight hours in visual meteorological conditions. The drone must also remain within visual line-of-sight of the pilot and observer. The pilot flying the drone must also have a private pilot’s certificate and current medical certification.
Amazon plans to use its Prime Air drone delivery system to delivery packages into consumers’ hands in 30 minutes or less.