At present, drones have become one of the easiest medias for transport. Online retailer giant Amazon has been using its own drone Prime Air to deliver packages to customers. But lately all on a sudden, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has declared that Amazon, or any other company using drones, won’t be able to ‘deliver packages’ via drones in the near future.
Earlier we have seen drones being used for delivering cake, newspaper, medicine, launching a rocket, smuggling cigarettes and carrying contraband to inmates; monitoring Rhinos for protection and catching those vandals who deface trains. Amazon decided to use drone so that it could deliver packages to its customers within 30 minutes.
Before using the drone Prime Air for delivering packages, Jeff Bezos, chief executive of Amazon revealed that Prime Air will be used for delivering Amazon products. The drone will be able to deliver packages consisting of up to a weight of 5 pounds to customers’ house in less than half an hour. In addition, the drone will be able to carry the package up to 10 miles from the fulfillment center (massive warehouses).
But in a document soliciting feedback regarding drone policy — a “Notice of Interpretation with Request for Comment” — the FAA has called “delivering packages to people for a fee” a non-hobby or recreation-based drone activity. Therefore, FAA has decided to ban the use of drones for delivering products.
On the other side, Amazon doesn’t charge any extra penny from customers for delivering products via Prime Air. In simple word, Amazon delivers products to its customers via Prime Air for absolutely ‘free’. So, here’s the contradiction between ‘fee’ and ‘free’.
After such uttered words, Amzon has simply said, “Putting Prime Air into commercial use will take some number of years as we advance the technology and wait for the necessary FAA rules and regulations.”
If an individual offers free shipping in association with a purchase or other offer, FAA would construe the shipping to be in furtherance of a business purpose, and thus, the operation would not fall within the statutory requirement of recreation or hobby purpose.
However, it is to be noted here that lately, a court has set the FAA back regarding its wish to ban commercial drone usage in the United States. And the agency is now appealing that ruling.
So what do you think – will FAA be able to ban the use of drones for delivering products in near future? Feel free to share your thoughts with us.