The Federal Aviation Administration proposed new rules for drones on Sunday.
The proposed rules would require “people flying drones for commercial purposes obtain a special pilot certificate, stay away from bystanders and fly only during the day,” Reuters reported.
Drones would also have a 100 miles-per-hour speed limit and an altitude limit of 500 feet.
The new, proposed rules aren’t good news for Amazon’s Prime Air program, which would enable drone delivery to customers in half an hour or less.
“The FAA’s proposed rules for small UAS could take one or two years to be adopted and, based on the proposal, even then those rules wouldn’t allow Prime Air to operate in the United States,” said Paul Misener, Amazon’s vice president of Global Public Policy.
“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 realising our vision for Prime Air and are prepared to deploy where we have the regulatory support we need.”
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos saw this coming. Back in December at Business Insider’s Ignition conference, he said Amazon Prime Air’s main hurdle would be regulatory, and that it saddens him that regulations will give the US a late start in the mainstream commercial drone usage game.
“Technology is not going to be the long pole,” Bezos said at the time. “The long pole is going to be regulatory.”
That same month, Amazon sent a letter to the FAA warning that the company would “have no choice” but to move more of its drone research outside the US if it wasn’t allowed to do more testing outside. Amazon tests its drones in the United Kingdom because US regulations restrict drone usage outdoors.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.
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