Posted By Simon Montford on March 21, 2015
The FAA have in the past been accused of bullying commercial drone business out of the skies, through overly draconian legislation. Chief among those that believe the FAA is responsible for hampering the growth of the fledgling commercial drone sector is Helen Greiner, co-founder of iRobot and currently CEO of CyPhyWorks. She previously said at a conference that the FAA’s approach to opening up the airspace industry-by-industry is a mistake. "It restricts access to groups that have the strongest lobbying power, stacking the deck against companies developing new technology.
In 2014 the AUVSI, an American trade group that represents the drone industry, estimated that the FAA's commercial drone ban is costing the US economy around $27 million for each day!
The real damage goes deeper, Greiner said, because there is a “real first move advantage — we’re giving up the future of the market. I think it really discriminates against the small innovative people and that’s not something the government should be doing".
Well it looks like the FAA has not changed its tune. First it was Hollywood, and now it's Amazon that appears to be getting special treatment.
Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos, is so confident that he announced recently that Amazon Prime "Air" will hit American skies at some point within the next few years. “It will work, and it will happen, and it’s gonna be a lot of fun,” Bezos stated confidently.
The special “experimental airworthiness certificate” granted to Amazon by the FAA will enable the Seattle ecommerce giant to conduct outdoor testing, however all drones will need to be operated within the pilot's line of sight. Of course for the airborne drone delivery service to become scaleable this restriction will need to be lifted.
Let us know what you think, by adding your comments below. Is Hollywood, and other powerful corporate entities such Oil & Gas companies, as well as Amazon, receiving special treatment, at the expense of smaller operators? Let us know what you think.
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