FAA Gives Amazon Permission to Test Prime Air Delivery Drones

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

Amazon has moved a step closer to its goal of one day delivering packages by drone. The Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday issued an “experimental airworthiness certificate” to Amazon, allowing the company to test its unmanned aircraft. The certificate comes with some restrictions. Amazon will only be able fly its test drones during daylight in clear conditions. Drones can't fly out of sight of the pilot, who must have a private pilot’s certificate, and an observer. The company's drones are also not allowed to fly higher than 400 feet above the ground.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos first announced the company's Prime Air project while on "60 Minutes" in December 2013, but its plans were soon deflated by the FAA. In China, Amazon already has some competition, as online retail giant Alibaba is testing drones that deliver tea.



— Keith Wagstaff