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News Link • Drones

FAA grounds Amazon's drone delivery plans

• arstechnica.com

The Federal Aviation Administration has said that online shopping powerhouse Amazon may not employ drones to deliver packages, at least not anytime soon.

The revelation was buried in a FAA document (PDF) unveiled Monday seeking public comment on its policy on drones, or what the agency calls "model aircraft."

The FAA has maintained since at least 2007 that the commercial operation of drones is illegal. A federal judge ruled in March, however, that the FAA enacted the regulations illegally because it did not take public input before adopting the rules, which is a violation of federal law. Flight regulators have appealed the decision, maintaining that commercial applications are still barred.

The agency has promised that it would revisit the commercial application of small drones later this year, with potential new rules in place perhaps by the end of 2015. But for now, the agency is taking a hard line against the commercial use of drones, and it's unclear whether that policy would change.

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