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Whether your reaction to the December news that Amazon is planning on delivering packages via drone was awe, fear, or mockery, Amazon is completely serious about this thing. So serious that yesterday, the online retailer sent a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration formally requesting that the US government allow testing of drones for Amazon's Prime Air service.
The company wants to be able to test drone prototypes over Amazon private property near its headquarters, and asked for an exemption to the FAA's guidelines, which ban most drones for commercial use. Amazon is currently on its eighth- and ninth-generation drone prototypes, and has been testing the "octo-copters" indoors or in other countries. Some of the drones can carry five-pound packages and fly at speeds of more than 50 miles per hour.
In the request, Amazon stated testing the drones will "do nothing more than what thousands of hobbyists and manufacturers of model aircraft do every day." Now it's up to the FAA to decide. In Prime Air's FAQ section regarding the timeline for drone delivery, Amazon writes: "We hope the FAA's rules will be in place as early as sometime in 2015. We will be ready at that time."
· Amazon asks FAA for permission to fly drones [Houston Chronicle]
· Amazon Asks FAA for Permission to Fly Drones [WBJ}
· Forget Humans, Amazon Will Use Drones to Deliver Packages [Racked]
· This Is the Most Involved Mockery of Amazon Drone Delivery Yet [Racked]