What an age we live in! Amazon just got a little bit closer to being able to deliver packages to your house via drones, taking the air or ground choice to a whole new level. On March 19, 2015, the FAA reported that it had issued an Experimental Type Certificate to Amazon Logistics, Inc., the shipping arm of Amazon, for research and development as well as crew training.
There has been significant media coverage of unmanned aircraft (aka, drones). In recent months, the FAA has acknowledged the need for formal regulation of drones and such regulations are in the works. The grant of Amazon’s experimental certificate is a big step. Experimental Type Certificates, which are a sub-set of Special Airworthiness Certificates, are issued to aircraft for several reasons, including: (1) that the aircraft is still in its developmental stages; (2) the aircraft is amateur built; (3) the aircraft is used for air racing; and now (4) the aircraft is a UAS (unmanned aircraft system).
Under the Experimental Type Certificate issued to Amazon, the company must conduct its test flights below 400 feet during the day and is required to provide monthly data to the FAA. Amazon has been vocal about its desire to create a drone-based delivery system for several years now. The FAA’s granting of this certificate puts Amazon one step closer to its goal of 30-minute delivery to customers’ homes in certain markets. If the program is successful, your next package from Amazon could be ordered on line and delivered to your home before your pizza arrives.