Online retailer Amazon has plans to enable the delivery of packages to customers via drones, but it first needs proper clearance.
The firm has asked federal regulators to excuse the company from having to follow a few rules related to flight, as per the FAA.
The agency published a petition obtained from Amazon in Federal Register, which asked permission for the firm to operate delivery systems, which would get deliveries to its customers within 30 min via UAS, better known to most people as drones.
The company has requested permission to utilize its MK27 done to make deliveries before FAA authorities grant the aircraft an airworthiness certificate along with a specific exemption from rules pertaining to drones. This includes a specific requirement that drones can be operated only when the operator is able to view it.
Amazon has also requested for a specific exemption from compliance with current aviation regulations that are mostly relevant to planes, like requirements that all flights be made above certain altitudes only, carry more fuel and conduct flights with appropriate documentation that include maintenance logs onboard the aircraft.
The petition stated that delivery drones can fly autonomously without the need for human input. However, there’ll be 1 operator per drone in operation at all times. Amazon will eventually seek to lower its drone to operator ratio, after receiving FAA approval that’s based on simulations and flights, which demonstrate the required safety levels to be achieved.
The petition numbering 29 pages outlines how drone delivery programs would operate. Initially, Amazon intends to conduct flights only during daytime in areas that have a low population count without any icing conditions & with favorable wind conditions with speeds below 24 knots.
All flights will take place in such a manner that all hospitals and vital government installations are avoided. Public events and locations would also be avoided. Delivery ranges will be below 15 mi on a round trip basis, with packages weighing below 5 pounds. These parameters have already been decided by the company itself.
Drone deliveries are scheduled to begin in a few months. However, no further details have been given.
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