February 16, 2015 Last Updated 4:38 pm

Amazon’s drone plans are temporarily grounded

The FAA on Sunday issued proposed regulations that will probably preclude Amazon from using drones to delivery packages any time soon. The proposed rules (PDF) would require that the operator maintain line-of-sight with the aircraft, most certainly limiting its uses to experimental flights.

“At all times the small unmanned aircraft must remain close enough to the operator for the operator to be capable of seeing the aircraft with vision unaided by any device other than corrective lenses,” the proposed regulations stipulate.

Amazon responded that it will continue to pursue its goal of aerial delivery, though it is likely that Amazon is still far enough away from implementing any system that the new rules could be changed in the future to accommodate new uses.

“The FAA needs to begin and expeditiously complete the formal process to address the needs of our business, and ultimately our customers. We are committed to realizing our vision,” said Paul Misener, Vice President of Global Public Policy at Amazon.com.

“This is not the last word, by any means,” said Michael Huerta, chief of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, on a conference call Sunday.

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