The FAA has long had strict rules and regulations governing the airspace in the United States, forcing companies such as Amazon and Google, to carry out any UAV projects outside of the country. It seemed as if we may never see the light of day for Amazon Prime Air.
Yesterday the FAA released a statement, that it had already issued and experimental airworthiness certificate to Amazon Logistics Inc.
Now, under this certificate, Amazon may conduct research and testing of their UAS program, but only under certain conditions. The person operating the drone, must maintain a visual line-of-sight always, and must never fly above an altitude of 400 feet during daylight hours. The operator must have, at the least, a private pilot’s certificate with updated a medical certification.
Recently the FAA approved new rules for anyone in the country wanting to fly a drone for commercial purposes. Previously, the organization didn’t allow for users to fly their aircraft, unless it was for recreational purposes. Under the new rules, anyone 17 years and older, may pilot a UAS under 55 pounds with certain restrictions.
This is a step in the right direction, and one that Amazon is sure to be pleased about. The company will still needs to report the number test flights conducted, and how many hours the pilot is on duty is logging. All flight data must be recorded, including any accidents or equipment malfunctions, in order for Amazon to keep the certification issued for the Amazon drone delivery service.
The drone market has been hot for a while, with manufacturers such as Turbo Ace, DJI, 3D Robotics and others coming out with advanced systems for commercial and recreational uses. Demand for these products are increasing, and is forcing the FAA to make changes in the way it governs the airspace in the U.S.A