Amazon's drone plans may take years to materialise news
03 December 2013

Amazon's plans to use drones to deliver packages to customers may take years to materialise as there may be several hurdles on the way.

Possibly the biggest of them all may be that the Federal Aviation Administration had yet to frame the rules for commercial use of the flying machines.

According to commentators with the announcement of plans, Amazon might be looking to play a significant role in the discussions regarding the new rules. The company even managed to convince the United States Postal Service to deliver packages on Sundays.

The FAA however, unveiled its roadmap for unmanned aircraft integration into the national airspace last month.

According to the agency the unmanned aircraft could find myriad applications, and everybody from retailers to farmers to photographers were eagerly awaiting opportunity to expand their use.

Given the rapidly improving capabilities of drones of all sizes from ones that could fit on a palm, to the full-sized unmanned aircraft, commercial businesses and government agencies had been eagerly awaiting the new rules.

The FAA outlined a plan that would start with the ''accomodation'' of existing drones on a limited, case-by-case basis as they are today, which would likely include law enforcement and national security use, as also use in less populated areas.

Meanwhile, Amazon's plans seem to have stirred a national debate after a top legislator raised concerns about privacy implications of American public from the move.

"Before drones start delivering packages, we need the FAA to deliver privacy protections for the American public," US senator, Ed Markey, said in a statement.

"Convenience should never trump constitutional protections. Before our skies teem with commercial drones, clear rules must be set that protect the privacy and safety of the public," he added.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is expected to deliver a ruling on the impact of increased use of commercial drones on the US airline industry by 2015.

The senator last month introduced the Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act that would require transparency in the use of domestic drones and privacy protections to ensure that drones would not be used to spy on US citizens.

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Amazon's drone plans may take years to materialise