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Kiss Your Amazon Prime Air Drone Dreams Goodbye… For Now

by Brandon Russell | June 24, 2014June 24, 2014 9:00 pm PDT

Amazon Prime Air (1)

Amazon’s plans to deliver packages by drone have been shot down by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). That means the online retailer’s ambitious Prime Air service isn’t likely to get off the ground anytime soon. The FAA said it won’t hesitate to take legal action against the company if it attempts to make deliveries by drone; the FAA has classified drones as hobby aircrafts, and there are a number of rules preventing Prime Air from ever becoming a legit business.

The FAA shared a neat little infographic that lays it all out. Amazon basically meets all of the “Don’t” criteria, such as: DONT’ fly beyond line of sight of the operator, and DON’T fly model aircraft for payment or commercial purposes. I don’t really think Prime Air can be categorized as something “for personal enjoyment.”

Amazon’s plans were to dispatch smaller packages by remote-controlled drones, promising prompt deliveries for folks who preferred not to make a trek to the store. But Amazon’s plans seemed a little too ambitious for its own good, and it appears the FAA is ready to bring down the hammer should Amazon try and get around regulations.


Drones have been at the center of controversy for a while now; a drone operator was fined $10,000 earlier this year for trying to film a commercial with an unmanned aircraft. The National Parks Service, meanwhile, has moved to ban drones in parks. There’s no doubt that drones can capture some beautiful photos and video footage, but when you’re out for a jaunt in beautiful back country, the last thing you want is every single visitor to be flying his or her drone around.

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Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...