(Pocket-lint) - Amazon has received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration regulatory body to operate drones in the US, enabling the retailer to finally begin offering commercial drone deliveries - or at least trial deliveries - according to a report from Bloomberg.
CNBC noted the FAA specifically ruled Amazon can “safely and efficiently deliver packages to customers", and that the drones carry packages outside of the operator’s line of sight. “This certification is an important step forward for Prime Air,” Amazon told Bloomberg, explaining that the decision “indicates the FAA’s confidence in Amazon’s operating and safety procedures for an autonomous drone delivery service".
Amazon also said it plans to one day deliver packages via drones to customers across the world. Keep in mind Amazon first announced Prime Air plans more than seven years ago, but it's been hampered by regulations, hardware limitations, and other challenges. There are still other obstacles, but for now, Amazon said it will focus on starting delivery tests. It has yet to specify where these tests will kick off in the US.
The latest version of its delivery drone can take off vertically and fly forward. Amazon is aiming to develop electric drones capable of flying up to 15 miles with packages weighing as much as five pounds. They'll be able to make these trips in 30 minutes or less, too.