Amazon has just made it known that the Federal Aviation Administration has granted them provisional use of drones. It is a “summary grant” that allows for the e-commerce company to operate 30 Section 333 unmanned aircraft systems.
Indeed, this new approach to regulation will help to speed along exemptions for Section 333 craft. As part of the 2012 FAA reauthorization law, the Secretary of Transportation has authorization to determine if commercial UAS operated craft can be allowed.
Basically, while the FAA will still review every single Section 333 aircraft separately, as an agency it can still issue the summary grant when it determines the new petition is similar to an older petition which has already received exemptions. Summary grants can help speed things along because they make better use of time since they do not require analysis reporting on the performance of the initial exemption.
“We’re pleased the FAA has granted our petition for this stage of R&D experimentation, and we look forward to working with the agency for permission to deliver Prime Air service to customers in the United States safely and soon. ” – Paul Misener, Amazon’s Vice President for Global Public Policy,
The FAA’s decision letter can be downloaded here.