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Heads Up! Amazon Gets FAA Clearance To Test Delivery Drones

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Amazon announced its ambitious plans for drone-to-home delivery back in December 2013, imagining a future where robots could deliver our packages.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos knew skeptics would pan his drone-delivery plan.

“I know this looks like science fiction. It’s not,” Bezos told 60 Minutes more than a year ago, showing off Amazon’s test-model octocopters. And he acknowledged that Amazon’s proposal to use robot drones faced major regulatory and technical hurdles.

But the visionary CEO was confident that “Amazon Prime Air” would fly.

“It will work, and it will happen, and it’s gonna be a lot of fun,” Bezos argued.

Launch day is still a few years away — at best — but it just got a lot closer.

Well, the FAA has finally issued Amazon a special “experimental airworthiness certificate” to conduct outdoor research, testing and training of its Prime Air delivery drones. This news follows the FAA’s move last month that proposed new rules to help legalize commercial drone flights, and the FAA has been giving certain companies the green light for testing. However, the exemption granted enforces that the drone must be in the line of view of the pilot at all times, which makes sense for initial testing but would severely hamper any large-scale rollout in the future.

Source: The Verge