(REUTERS) – Amazon.com Inc plans to shift more of its drone testing outside U.S. borders unless it gets quick permission from U.S. regulators to conduct outdoor trials, the company said in a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration late on Sunday.
The U.S. online retailer has already started conducting outdoor tests “in other countries with regulatory environments more supportive of small (unmanned aircraft systems) innovation,” according to the letter written by Amazon vice president of global public policy Paul Misener.
Amazon says outdoor testing is crucial to developing its “Prime Air” program, which aims to use drones – small unmanned aircraft – to deliver packages in 30 minutes or less. It said it preferred to keep that testing within theUnited States.
In July, Amazon sought permission from the FAA to test drones in outdoor areas near Seattle, where one of its research and development labs is working on the…
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