Amazon outlines nationwide drone exclusive airspace aspirations

Many of us thought Amazon had gone crazy when it started to talk up its plans to deliver packages to Amazon Prime users via drones. Not too long after the first announcement of its drone aspirations, Amazon actually began preparing for drone deliveries. It eventually ran into problems with FAA regulations that put a damper on plans. However, in March of this year the FAA approved drone testing for Amazon clearing the way for more work.

Amazon is now asking for a drone exclusive airspace that would create a sort of drone highway around the nation. Amazon wants 200-400 feet of airspace exclusively for drone use with another 100 feet above the requested airspace as a no-fly zone.

The airspace would be the exclusive domain of mostly autonomous drones traveling at 60 knots or more. The no-fly zone Amazon wants is to prevent any hazardous interaction between manned aircraft and drones. Amazon's plans require that all drones that ply the airspace it desires be able to communicate with each other to prevent any impacts within the drone airspace.

Amazon has outlined five requirements to be able to fly in the drone airspace: sophisticated GPS, a reliable internet connection onboard, online flight planning, communications equipment for talking with other drones, and sensor-based sense and avoid equipment to avoid obstacles and other drones. It's unclear how the FAA will respond to Amazon's proposal, setting aside airspace all around the country for drones will certainly take time.

[via The Guardian