Amazon has officially gained a go-signal from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to kick off its drone delivery trials. That's after the company's Prime Air service has been granted an "air carrier" status by authorities.
Under the new status, Prime Air can begin flying its hexagon-shaped drone called MK27, which was unveiled last year, for trial commercial drone deliveries in the country. The retail giant did not say, however, when or where it plans to start the trial flights. Nonetheless, Bloomberg noted that Amazon operates some test sites in the Northwest area of the U.S. and in the nearby Vancouver area.
David Carbon, Amazon's Vice President for Prime Air, said in a statement: "This certification is an important step forward for Prime Air and indicates the FAA’s confidence in Amazon’s operating and safety procedures for an autonomous drone delivery service that will one day deliver packages to our customers around the world."
The FAA's clearance is modified from the safety rules and regulations applied to companies that operate commercial airlines. Amazon demonstrated its drone operations in the past few days to gain the approval, in addition to documenting its pilot-training programs and drug testing. It may still take a few years before Amazon will be able to operate a commercial drone delivery service for the public since the FAA must finalize the regulations after the trial stage concludes.