Amazon wants local and state governments to stay out of drone regulations
Few companies have as much of a reason to be interested in America’s developing drone regulations as Amazon. The e-commerce giant is singlehandedly responsible for bringing the idea of delivery drones to the limelight, but thanks to the less-than-permissive regulations on commercial drone usage in the United States, the company’s development of drone technology has progressed at a snail’s pace.
The good news is that, thanks to tons of pressure from drone advocates and corporations like Amazon and Google, the federal government has been working on some clearer and far less restrictive regulations regarding commercial drones. It’s hope that, at the very least, the FAA will have some accommodating rules in place for the testing of drone technology before the end of 2016. But while that’s great news, it doesn’t change the fact that the FAA doesn’t have any clear and comprehensive rules in place at the moment, which has led to numerous local and state government implanting their own regulations, which could cause some serious problems for Amazon in the near future.
Considering how the company wants to create a nationwide drone delivery system, it’s in Amazon’s best interest that the regulations regarding commercial drone usage be the same across the country. When you have local and state governments creating their own rules, and even banning the use of commercial drones entirely in some cases, it becomes incredibly difficult to operate nationwide, which is why Amazon recently asked the House of Representatives to prevent local and state governments from implementing their own commercial drone regulations.
Paul Misener, the company’s vice president for global public policy, said in a written testimony to the House that, “Given the interstate nature of UAS (unmanned aerial system) operations, states and localities must not be allowed to regulate UAS that the FAA has authorized, including with respect to airspace, altitude, purpose of operations, performance and operator qualifications.”