Why FAA Drone Regulations Are a Blow to Amazon

Is the dream of Amazon Prime Air over?

ByABC News
February 16, 2015, 11:07 AM

— -- Amazon won't let the Federal Aviation Administration kill its dream of a drone delivery service, despite new proposals released over the weekend that seem to shoot down the e-commerce giant's aerial ambitions.

The FAA released a set of proposals on Sunday for commercial drone operations, but with several caveats that would keep Amazon Prime Air from become a reality. Operators of commercial drones must keep the devices in their eyesight and not fly over crowds of people, according to the FAA proposals.

While the rules could take as long as two years to be adopted, they seem to be a significant roadblock on Amazon's plans to create a drone delivery network that CEO Jeff Bezos has said he hopes will one day be as common as seeing a mail truck.

"Based on the proposal, even then those rules wouldn't allow Prime Air to operate in the United States," Paul Misener, vice president of global public policy at Amazon, said in a statement to ABC News.

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

Amazon has conducting drone tests inside one of its Washington state facilities and has been lobbying the FAA to receive approval to fly the aircraft outdoors, moving it one step closer to its dream on a drone network that delivers packages in 30 minutes or less.