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UK government grants concessions for Amazon to step up drone tests

Amazon has been granted special permissions by the UK government to have strict flying restrictions around its drone tests lifted, reports the Bookseller. The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has granted the retailer a series of concessions to test its aerial vehicles in select ‘controlled’ spaces, approved by the CAA. These concessions include: the ability to operate its drones without a direct line of sight; allowing sensor testing for obstacle evasion; and allowing one pilot to control multiple drones, in contrast to existing restrictions where a pilot must be in control of a drone at all times. The tests will begin immediately, and will be the most extensive trials the retailer has conducted. Paul Misener, Amazon’s vice president of global innovation policy and communications, said the company has invested in research and development in the UK ‘for quite some time’ and said the partnership with the CAA strengthens Amazon’s goal to deliver parcels in 30 minutes as part of its Prime Air delivery system. The CAA will be involved with the tests, with the aim of finding potential safe uses for drones beyond line of sight. CAA policy director Tim Johnson said the results of Amazon’s tests will help inform the authority’s ‘policy and future approach’. ‘We want to enable the innovation that arises from the development of drone technology by safely integrating drones into the overall aviation system,’ said Johnson.


Category: International news