FAA clearance far too late for Amazon

After asking for several quarters the possibility of testing its prototypes of delivery drones outside the confined space of its R&D laboratories, the group Amazon finally obtained authorization from the FAA ((Federal Aviation Administration) to carry out experiments.

Besides restrictions (limited altitude, pilot's flight …) that will hardly meet the expectations of the e-commerce group, the authorization arrives too late for the prototype which was to be tested, the group said in a document to a committee of the United States Senate.

Amazon drone "We are not testing it anymore. We have moved on to more advanced designs that we are already testing"said Paul Misener, one of the group's executive directors.

"Outside the United States, we never had to wait more than a month or two for testing", he regrets, when the FAA authorization has been issued. more than six months after Amazon's request.

The group therefore asked the FAA for a new authorization last Friday for a more recent delivery drone prototype, with the hope of getting a faster green light. Amazon continues to put pressure on the regulator to accelerate the implementation of legislation that would allow the rapid launch of commercial services.

Behind him, many players in this emerging market hope to benefit from greater responsiveness from legislators, pointing out the risk for the United States to find itself behind the revolution to come, which makes Misener say that "this deficit in government attention and its slow pace are not adapted, especially in comparison with the active efforts to regulate in other countries".

With regulations on drones that will not arrive before 2016 or 2017 and which will not allow in its current form the use of delivery drones, the pressures from the industry will only increase.