Menu
Commercial pilots group concerned over Amazon drone safety

Commercial pilots group concerned over Amazon drone safety

The Air Line Pilots Association cautions that safety is paramount in commercial drone flight

An organization representing thousands of commercial pilots in the U.S. and Canada says it's concerned about the safety implications of Amazon flying drones at a site near Seattle.

The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) says because the test site is close to densely populated areas with large amounts of commercial air traffic, the likelihood of an accident is increased.

Amazon is exploring the use of drones for package delivery and has asked the Federal Aviation Administration for permission to test them near its headquarters in Washington state. The company said it might be forced to take drone research and development overseas if the FAA doesn't grant its application.

The ALPA comment came in a letter sent to the FAA on Monday that demanded Amazon provide specific details of every planned drone operation and the efforts it is taking to minimize the risk of an accident, if the flights are to go ahead.

"If the FAA were to grant this exemption for a private test site facility, the FAA's oversight task is increased," it said.

Drones currently fall within a grey area of U.S. law. The FAA has claimed regulatory control over them and given private pilots and hobbyists many of the same freedoms they enjoy with model aircraft while prohibiting businesses from using drones for commercial use.

The first change in that policy recently occurred when the FAA, after lobbying from the Motion Picture Association of America, allowed a handful of movie and TV production companies to use drones in a controlled manner on movie sets for filming purposes.

Companies in the agriculture and energy fields are also asking for permission to fly drones.

Amazon's application to the FAA has so far garnered nine responses from the public, including the ALPA. Several, mainly from groups involved in the unmanned aviation sector, support the proposal, while a couple from private individuals oppose it, one calls for thorough safety measures and another supports it.

The FAA is accepting comments on the proposal until Sept. 4.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags amazonretaile-commerceAir Line Pilots Associationtransportationindustry verticalsinternet

Featured

Slideshows

Tech industry comes together as Lexel celebrates turning 30

Tech industry comes together as Lexel celebrates turning 30

Leading figures within the technology industry across New Zealand came together to celebrate 30 years of success for Lexel Systems, at a milestone birthday occasion at St Matthews in the City.​

Tech industry comes together as Lexel celebrates turning 30
HP re-imagines education through Auckland event launch

HP re-imagines education through Auckland event launch

HP New Zealand held an inaugural Evolve Education event at Aotea Centre in Auckland, welcoming over 70 principals, teachers and education experts to explore ways of shaping and enhancing learning using technology.

HP re-imagines education through Auckland event launch
Reseller News ICT Industry Awards 2017 - Meet the winners...

Reseller News ICT Industry Awards 2017 - Meet the winners...

Reseller News honoured the industry’s finest on a standout evening for the New Zealand channel, recognising the achievements of established and emerging partners on a memorable night in Auckland.

Reseller News ICT Industry Awards 2017 - Meet the winners...
Show Comments