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Amazon drones hit by US regulations

Amazon’s plans for drone deliveries have suffered a setback after new federal rules will not allow Prime Air to operate in the US.

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However, the online retailer insists that it’s is still committed to delivering products by drone.

The Federal Aviation Authority's (FAA) draft rules for the use of drones in US airspace do not permit Amazon to launch its Amazon Air delivery service.

The draft rules state that pilots must remain within eyesight of their unmanned crafts, although it said it would consider factoring in a second line of sight in some cases.

Pilots must also be FAA certified to operate drones.

Amazon's Misner called for rules that would address Amazon's plan for using drones to deliver packages.

"The FAA needs to begin and expeditiously complete the formal process to address the needs of our business, and ultimately our customers,'' he said. "We are committed to realizing our vision for Prime Air and are prepared to deploy where we have the regulatory support we need."

The draft rules will be open to public consultation and are unlikely to come into force for a couple of years.

The Small UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) Coalition, of which Amazon is a member, said it "applauded" the proposed rules, launched yesterday by the FAA, but mentioned several caveats, including relaxing the rule about line of sight.

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