US: New Regulations Block Amazon Drone Plans

Amazon’s plans to use drones for delivering orders in the US appear to have been stymied for now, after the US government unveiled new rules.

The Federal Aviation Administration’s new regulations require drones (and their payload) to weigh less than 55 pounds and also require them to stay within unaided sight of the pilot or observer.  Drones also cannot fly over people who aren’t involved in their operation; can only fly during daylight, dawn, and dusk; can’t fly faster than 100 mph or higher than 400 feet above ground; and must have one pilot for each drone.

The FAA has noted that it can award a waiver from “some restrictions”, if the drone’s flight can be proven to be safe.  However, the overall restrictions will significantly limit the scope of any delivery plans by Amazon.

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