Amazon’s experimental drone delivery project has not been grounded by new rules set forth by the FAA.
The Federal Aviation Administration released a document on Monday, which was easily misinterpreted as affecting Amazon’s plans.
It outlawed using “model aircraft” for a number of activities, including delivering packages for a fee, or even delivering packaged for free — as Amazon tends to do. But Amazon said in a statement today that the controversial drone program will not be affected by the latest interpretation of the law.
“The FAA filing is about hobbyists and model aircraft, not Amazon, and has no effect on our plans. Our plan has always been to operate as a commercial entity to deliver packages to customers in 30 minutes or less through Amazon Prime Air and this has no effect on that,” a spokeswoman said.
We also reached out to FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown, who confirmed that Amazon’s statement was correct, and that Amazon would be covered by commercial aircraft rules – not hobby rules.
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos announced the project “Amazon Prime Air” on 60 minutes in December. At that time, Bezos said it might take years to implement the project, at least four or five optimistically, and admitted at the time that one of the biggest hurdles will be convincing the FAA that it’s safe.