Amazon says its remote-control drones can fly 50 miles an hour and carry a five-pound package. It promises the system will deliver packages in 30 minutes or less. In December, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told CBS News that tiny octo-copters could be delivering packages for Amazon within four or five years.
Federal rules now under review don’t allow the commercial use of drones. Amazon has hired lobbyists to try to change that. Congress has instructed the FAA to integrate drones into the nation’s airspace by September 2015.
The FAA approved the nation’s first overland use of commercial drones in June to fly over oil fields on Alaska’s remote north slope, where privacy and safety concerns are small. And last fall, the FAA allowed drones to fly over oil exploration areas in the Arctic Ocean.
Amazon did not respond to KUOW’s requests for an interview. The company’s lobbying efforts were revealed in a legally required disclosure form filed in June with the U.S. Congress.