Amazon Gets Airworthiness Certificate from FAA to Experiment with Drones

Amazon Gets Airworthiness Certificate from FAA to Experiment with Drones
Image: Pixabay
March 20, 2015

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued an experimental airworthiness certificate to an Amazon Logistics, Inc. unmanned aircraft (UAS) design that the company will use for research and development and crew training.

The FAA typically issues experimental certificates to manufacturers and technology developers to operate UAS, otherwise known as drones, that do not have a type certificate. A 'type certificate' is something issued by the FAA to signify the airworthiness of an aircraft manufacturing design.

Under the provisions of the certificate, all flight operations must be conducted at 400 feet or below during daylight hours in visual meteorological conditions.

Additionally, the UAS must always remain within visual line-of-sight of the pilot and observer, and the pilot actually flying the aircraft must have at least a private pilot's certificate and current medical certification.

The certificate also requires Amazon to provide monthly data to the FAA. The company must report the number of test flights conducted, pilot duty time per flight, unusual hardware or software malfunctions, any deviations from air traffic controllers' instructions, and any unintended loss of communication links.

Last month, the FAA proposed a framework of regulations that would allow routine use of certain small UAS in today's aviation system.

Get more information on the FAA and UAS.

Get Connected with Consumer Connections

Stay up-to-date about issues that really matter! Get the Consumer Connections newsletter!

We're committed to providing you with information you need to make you a better, more informed consumer. Whether it's a vehicle recall, a product recall, or a new scam, we feature it in Consumer Connections.

So why not give it a try? Go on. All of your friends are doing it. It's completely free and comes just once a week.

You've finally filled out all the paperwork for a new or used car and drive it off the lot in triumph. Then, only a few hours (or days or weeks) later, the dealer calls you and tells you that you have to return the car because your financing didn't go through. What's going on? Is this legal? No.

Do you have an upcoming vacation or business trip or family vaction? Whether you're traveling across the state or around the world, don't forget to take the necessary precautions to protect your most important asset — your identity! It's easy to take a few simple precautions.

Pets are more than animals. They're family. Travel with pets can present a distinct set of challenges, and frequent travelers must address a number of pet safety considerations while preparing to take an animal along on a trip. But it's easier than you might think to keep your pets healthy and happy.

Packing for an upcoming trip? Do your plans involve air travel? Many common items that consumers use on a daily basis are considered hazardous materials when they are brought onto a commercial airplane. For this reason, these items come with specific packing requirements to which air travelers must adhere.