Amazon’s hope of drone delivery struck down by FAA

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 45 views 

Online retail giant Amazon had high hopes of using mechanical drones to deliver small packages to its vast customer base. But, the Federal Aviation Administration released a memo this week that strikes down the use of such devices for business applications.

Amazon outlined plans to use drones for 30-minute deliveries for its Prime customer base back in December.

The FAA notes that drones or any model aircraft can only be used for hobby purposes. Model aircraft are restricted from flying over populated area, flying above 400 feet or flying within five miles of an airport. The model aircraft must also be visible by its operator during flight.

The agency is also clear on the fact that these models cannot be used in conjunction of delivering a package to people for free.

"If an individual offers free shipping in association with a purchase or other offer, FAA would construe the shipping to be in furtherance of a business purpose, and thus, the operation would not fall within the statutory requirement of recreation or hobby purpose," the FAA noted in the memo.