E-commerce giant Amazon in a bid to make their delivery system easier has formally requested FAA approval to operate as a Part 135 unmanned air carrier to conduct commercial drone deliveries in the United States.
In their request, the company wants the Federal Aviation Administration to excuse it from following some rules of the FAA. The company wishes to operate “a delivery system that will get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less using UAS”.
The MK27 which has been in development for several years is intended to be used by Amazon Prime Air for its delivery operation. The said drone has also received numerous experimental certificates from the FAA.
However, since the aircraft is still undergoing agency review for an airworthiness certificate, the company is requesting an exemption allowing it to begin Part 135 operations before that certificate is granted and including a requirement that they only be operated when an operator can see it.
The company also requested to be excused from complying with aviation regulations more commonly associated with planes including rules outlining that pilots fly above certain heights, carry extra fuel, and fly with documentation like aircraft logs.
The petition which has 29 pages outlines extensively how the drone operation system is to work. Delivery drones won’t actually land at the delivery site; they will hover at a safe distance, release the package and then the customer will be alerted of the successful delivery after the drone departs.
At first, the company plans to only conduct flights in day time in areas with low population density also when there are no icing conditions and the wind is less than 24 knots.
Amazon said it has established a targeted level of safety that meets some criteria so as not to harm persons and property on the ground, but declined to share that target level — or the calculations involved — publicly.
All known over flight areas such as sensitive government installations, hospitals, open air assemblies,” which includes fields where sporting events are taking place will be avoided.
Deliveries will be less than 15 nautical miles round trip and packages must weigh 5 pounds or less — parameters the company has clearly outlined.
Amazon has said their drone delivery system should be expected in months with no specification as to whether it applies to U.S.
The company has duly noted that one of the major elements influencing risk it can control is the population density of the area where its operation is to be carried out; assuring that expansion to operations in denser areas is in full gear and should be expected in the near future.
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