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Amazon says FAA has approved 'Prime Air' drone deliveries

Amazon has been testing delivery drones since 2013 with a goal of using them to deliver items to customers in just 30 minutes. File Photo courtesy Amazon/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/89ebb1a1625b2a2b233cc7eec71e3c1c/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Amazon has been testing delivery drones since 2013 with a goal of using them to deliver items to customers in just 30 minutes. File Photo courtesy Amazon/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 31 (UPI) -- Amazon said Monday federal regulators have approved its application to use drones to deliver packages as an "air carrier."

The designation by the Federal Aviation Administration will allow Amazon to start commercial drone deliveries of small packages, known as "Prime Air."

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The retailer, however, still must clear several regulatory hurdles and technical issues before its drones can begin service.

"This certification is an important step forward for Prime Air and indicates the FAA's confidence in Amazon's operating and safety procedures for an autonomous drone delivery service that will one day deliver packages to our customers around the world," David Carbon, vice president of Prime Air, said.

Amazon has been testing delivery drones since 2013 with a goal of using them to deliver items to customers in just 30 minutes. The company submitted a petition to the FAA for approval last year.

Amazon said it plans to make the drone deliveries first in low-population areas with packages weighing no more than 5 pounds.

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