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article imageAmazon requests FAA approval for delivery-drone plans

By Karen Graham     Aug 8, 2019 in Business
Amazon may be starting its drone-delivery service in the near future, but only if the FAA approves the e-commerce giant's petition for a few exemptions to the regulations.
Amazon is seeking exemptions from the FAA to operate its Prime Air drone delivery service as an air carrier under the agency’s Part 135 regulation. Amazon seeks relief to allow it to conduct operations with an unmanned aircraft system (UAS), to enable its commercial delivery operations using UAS, according to ATW Online.
Operators of business aircraft that wish to conduct operations for compensation or hire are generally certificated under Part 135 of the FARs. As a certificate holding entity, the operator must comply with a number of FAA requirements regarding areas such as flight operations, maintenance, and training.
The FAA posted a summary of the petition seeking relief from specified requirements of Federal Aviation Regulations in the Federal Register on August 8, 2019. The public has until August 28, 2019, to comment on the petition.
Amazon wants to operate “a delivery system that will get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less using UAS.” The company also wants to use its custom MK27 drone for deliveries before the FAA grants the aircraft a certificate of airworthiness, as well as an exemption from drone-specific rules, specifically the rule requiring the drone only be operated when an operator can see it.
Besides listing all the exemptions, the petition also states delivery drones will fly autonomously, or without human input, but that there will be one operator for each drone in the sky at any time. Amazon would eventually change to a lower drone-operator ratio - “subject to FAA approval based on flights and simulations that demonstrate required levels of safety.”
Deliveries will be less than 15 nautical miles round trip and packages must weigh 5 pounds or less — parameters the company has previously outlined, but detailed in the petition.
More about Amazon, FAA approval, Petition, dronedelivery, MK27 drone
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