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Regulations may ground Amazon drones


Seattle – A new set of stiff federal regulations reportedly may limit or even scuttle’s plans for a drone-based aerial delivery service. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says operators of unmanned commercial aircraft, which would include Amazon drones, must keep the craft in their line of sight and not fly them over people.

The FAA is currently consulting with individuals and interested parties about drone regulations, and has said it is willing to be flexible in how rules are written and implemented. has been testing drones indoors since 2013 and wants to conduct outdoor pilot tests of its drone-based “Prime Air” delivery service, which would bring customers their orders in 30 minutes or less, by the end of this year.

Amazon has said it would develop Prime Air overseas if drone regulations in the U.S. prove too cumbersome. Other proposed FAA regulations regarding drones include keeping them to an altitude of 500 ft. and a maximum speed of 100 miles per hour. Operators would have to be at least 17 years old, pass an aeronautical knowledge test and earn an FAA operator certificate.

Chinese e-commerce provider Alibaba and German parcel service Deutsche Post DHL are also conducting drone tests in their respective countries.

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