Online sales giant Amazon has sought permission to test drones in the US after revealing it would eventually aim to deliver its products via unmanned aircrafts.
According to Ninemsn, the retailer has been conducting test flights indoors or overseas due to drone restrictions in US airspace.
However, in a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration made public this week, the company demanded an exemption from the rules “in the public interest” of improving Amazon Prime Air – a plan for drone delivery to customers.
“Of course, Amazon would prefer to keep the focus, jobs, and investment of this important research and development initiative in the United States by conducting private research and development operations outdoors near Seattle,” the letter said.
Company founder Jeff Bezos revealed his idea for drone deliveries last December, and said the company would be ready to launch the delivery program as early as 2015 if FAA regulations allowed.
The plan would allow the company to deliver some orders within 30 minutes of placement with the help of “highly-automated aerial vehicles” which travel at over 80 kilometres per hour and can carry up to 2.2 kilos.
Amazon claimed that FFA approval of the drone bid “will do nothing more than allow Amazon to do what thousands of hobbyists and manufacturers of model aircraft do every day, and we will abide by much stronger safety measures than currently required for these groups”.
It added that “one day, seeing Amazon Prime Air will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road today, resulting in enormous benefits for consumers across the nation.”