Online retailing giant Amazon has received green signal from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for conducting future experiments on its ambitious drone package delivery services.
The regulatory authority granted an Experimental Airworthiness Certificate (EAC) to Amazon on March 19 after which the company is allowed to conduct more research work into its ambitious drone project.
During the research, the company will explore whether drone can be deemed as an effective and potentially viable delivery system.
After the EAC-accreditation, Amazon Logistics division can carry out experiment with the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) that the company will be using for the purpose of research and development as well as crew training.
The rules guiding the drone experiments are set by the FAA under EAC. These rules include:
- Provisions that the drones should remain within visual line-of-sight of the pilot as well as the observer.
- All flight operations should be conducted at 400 feet or below during the day-time and in good weather conditions.
- A pilot having a minimum of a certificate of a private pilot along with current healthy medical certification should flow the drone experiments under EAC.
Under the EAC, the federal authority has also asked Amazon to provide monthly data on regular basis to the agency which will include reports, such as pilot duty time per flight, the number of flights conducted, any deviations from air traffic controllers’ instructions, unusual hardware or software malfunctions, and any unintended loss of communication links.
FAA spokesperson Alison Duquette said that the agency has so far granted permission to 48 other projects intended to use drones or similar designs of unmanned aircraft for performing various tasks in the United States.