The Federal Aviation Administration has given Amazon clearance to begin test flights of its commercial delivery drones. The agency announced it has approved Amazon's initial design, authorizing the company to begin test flights.
The FAA earlier gave Hollywood studios similar approval for the drones moviemakers hope to use to shoot aerial shots that would otherwise require expensive helicopter flights.
"Under the provisions of the certificate, all flight operations must be conducted at 400 feet or below during daylight hours in visual meteorological conditions," the FAA said, adding that the drone "must always remain within visual line-of-sight of the pilot and observer."
In addition, the ground-based pilot actually flying the aircraft must have at least a private pilot’s certificate and current medical certification.
Amazon is dreaming of the day when it can begin offering Amazon Prime Air, a service that would deliver merchandise to customers literally within hours, if not minutes.
Amazon says it hopes to be in the air by the end of the decade although that may be pushing it a bit, considering all the legal and regulatory hurdles that must be cleared before the skies can begin buzzing hordes of busy drones.