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Amazon's Delivery-by-Drones Plans May Stay Grounded For Now

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Amazon might not be rolling out drones for delivery anytime soon.

Federal Aviation Administration documents published Monday stated that delivering packages to people for a fee will remain illegal, at least for the time being.

Commercial operations of drones have been considered illegal since at least 2007, but earlier this year a federal judge ruled that the FAA enacted regulations illegally because it did not follow proper procedure and get public input before adopting the regulations, according to a Ars Technia report.

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The FAA has a deadline of September 15, 2015, to integrate drones into the airspace safely. But industry experts say this is unlikely.

In the FAA's announcement on Monday, which was really aimed at giving guidance for model aircraft operators, the agency did make clear that unmanned aerial vehicles were to strictly be used for recreational purposes.

"Any operation not conducted strictly for hobby or recreation purposes could not be operated under the special rule for model aircraft. Clearly, commercial operations would not be hobby or recreation flights," according to the document.

Image: Amazon Prime Air delivery drone
Your Amazon Prime delivery might not be arriving by drone anytime soon.Amazon Inc.

It also stated that using drones to deliver packages for a fee was also not considered a recreation.

In early December, the e-commerce giant made a big media splash when CEO Jeff Bezos said during a "60 Minute" interview that the company intended to launch a drone delivery program that would carry packages of up to five pounds. However, even Bezos said that the drone program wouldn't happen right away. It could be a reality, though, in as little as five years, he said.

Amazon didn't return a call for comment to CNBC, but a company spokesperson told CNET the FAA guidelines don't apply to commercial entities and won't ground the company's plans.

"This is about hobbyists and model aircraft, not Amazon," Mary Osako, a spokeswoman for the Seattle-based company, told CNET.

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