- Eli Sanders
- DRONES OVER SEATTLE: Is this about to become an everyday sight?
Amazon has officially requested that the FAA allow the company to test drone-based package delivery in its own backyard. In a letter published at Regulations.gov, Amazon described the state of the program and asked regulators to grant the Internet retailer an exemption to drone-testing rules, which restrict flights to six official staging areas throughout the country.
"We are rapidly experimenting and iterating on Prime Air inside our next generation research and development lab in Seattle," reads the letter, which reveals the drones have been through eight generations of development and can now carry 5-pound loads at over 50 miles per hour.
You really have to read the letter, which promises "enormous customer benefits" and equates the company's Amazon Prime Air program with "what thousands of [drone] hobbyists and manufacturers of model aircraft do every day." The FAA aside, this is sure to spark a conversation in Seattle about whether we want remote-controlled aircraft whizzing around in the air at 50 miles an hour. Surely you remember the controversy caused by a single drone in downtown Seattle a few weeks ago? Imagine the kind of talk a whole fleet of drones will inspire.