Amazon’s delivery methods won’t include drones, at least not anytime soon. In a document seeking feedback on its policy on drones, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) clarified that Amazon, or anyone else for that matter, won’t be able to operate drones for commercial purposes.
“Clearly, commercial operations would not be hobby or recreation flights,” said the FAA report. “Likewise, flights that are in furtherance of a business, or incidental to a person’s business, would not be a hobby or recreation flight.”
The agency does not mention Amazon Prime Air by name, but outlines the acceptable use of drones (which it calls “model aircraft”) within the limits of hobbying and recreation.
The agency does plan to revisit the ban on commercial drone usage later this year, with potential new rules on drones perhaps by 2015. But for now, it’s difficult to say whether it would bring any change to that policy.
Under a graphic that says what is barred, the FAA mentioned the “Delivering of packages to people for a fee.”
“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,” the agency clarified in a footnote.