Amazon may be one step closer to direct drone delivery.
The Federal Aviation Administration is issuing the company an experimental airworthiness certificate to a drone design for research and development as well crew training, the agency announced Thursday.
The certificate will require Amazon to conduct all operations at 400 feet or below during daylight hours. The unmanned aircraft must always remain in visual line-of-sight of the pilot and observer, and the pilot must have at least a private pilot’s certificate and current medical certification, the FAA said.
Amazon must also provide monthly data reports to the FAA, including the number of flights they take, pilot duty time per flight and any issues that may take place during their testing.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced in 2013 that it has been testing drones for a possible future “Amazon Prime Air” service that would fly ordered items directly to customers’ homes in less than half an hour.
The company, however, had issues requesting a Grant of Exemption permit, which was previously rejected by the FAA. An Amazon executive reportedly told the Wall Street Journal that the company would have to consider testing internationally if they did not receive permission to do testing outdoors in the United States.
The Daily News has reached out to Amazon for comment, and will update should we hear back.