WASHINGTON, 20 March 2015. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials have issued an experimental airworthiness certificate to an Amazon Logistics Inc. unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) design to be used for research and development and crew training.
The FAA issues experimental certificates to manufacturers and technology developers to operate an unmanned aircraft, also known as drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), that do not have a type certificate.
Under the provisions of the certificate, all flight operations must be conducted at 400 feet or below during daylight hours in visual meteorological conditions. The UAS must always remain within visual line-of-sight of the pilot and observer. The pilot actually flying the aircraft must have at least a private pilot’s certificate and current medical certification.
The certificate also requires Amazon to provide monthly data to the FAA. The company must report: the number of flights conducted, pilot duty time per flight, unusual hardware or software malfunctions, any deviations from air traffic controllers’ instructions, and any unintended loss of communication links. The FAA includes these reporting requirements in all UAS experimental airworthiness certificates.