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Are retailers ready for federal regulations on drones? Amazon is.
NEW YORK — Federal regulations governing unmanned aircraft systems, or drones, will be in place by this time next year.
Most retailers won’t be ready, but Amazon says it will be as soon as the feds are. Testifying at a congressional hearing on June 17, Paul Misener, Amazon.com’s VP of global public policy told lawmakers it would be ready to deliver packages via its service branded as Prime Air as soon as federal rules are in place.
"We'd like to begin delivering to our customers as soon as it's approved," Misener said during the meeting. "We will have (the technology) in place by the time any regulations are ready. We are working very quickly."
At hearings held earlier this year Misener chastised regulators for not moving more quickly to implement regulations concerning the use of unmanned aircraft for commercial deliveries. Amazon also previously indicated its Prime Air service will allow for delivery of packages within 30 minutes.
Regulations proposed by the Federal Aviation Administration back in February were very restrictive, allowed drones to be flown only during daylight hours and by operators who maintained a line of site with the vehicle.
Obviously, such a scenario would be problematic for Amazon.com or other retailers contemplating the use of unmanned aircraft, so the FAA has gone back to the drawing board to craft rules that it is presumed will allow for vehicles to fly autonomously over greater distances.
“The rule will be in place within the year,” said FAA deputy administrator Michael Whitaker at the hearing held by the House Oversight Committee.