In a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration on Sunday, Amazon said that unless the government agency relaxes rules concerning commercial drone use, the company will be forced to move its drone research teams abroad.
“Without the ability to test outdoors in the United States soon, we will have no choice but to divert even more of our [drone] research and development resources abroad,” wrote Paul Misener, Amazon’s vice president of global public policy, in the letter seen by the Wall Street Journal.
The FAA’s current regulations have thrown a wrench in Amazon’s plans to use drones for same-day package delivery. It is currently illegal in the U.S. to use a drone for commercial purposes, even for test runs. Licenses are set to be issued in 2015, but the vetting process will be stringent and stipulations of flying extremely limited.
Amazon is already testing drones in the U.K., where commercial drones must stay away from large crowds and airports but can otherwise fly freely. Commercial licenses have also been issued in the U.K. But as long as drones continue to be the cause of near-disasters at airports or unpleasantness at a chain eatery, regulations in the U.S. will probably remain tight.
[h/t: The Verge]