FAA Dashes Amazon’s Hopes for Drone Delivery, At Least For Now

In a recent ruling, the Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, has banned the use of drones for commercial purposes. A federal appeals lawyer discusses the ruling and its impact on Amazon or other commercial shippers.

The FAA’s Role in the Drone Controversy

The recent online shipping buzz was that Amazon, one of the world’s largest online retailers, was in the process of developing drones to deliver packages to its customers. This plan has been at least temporarily thwarted by the FAA. The FAA has the power to regulate commercial use of aircraft. The administration has just released a new regulation that will ban the use of drones for delivery of packages to people for a fee.  A federal appeals attorney explains how Amazon hoped to get around the ruling and how this FAA has prevented that.

The Importance of the Commercial Use Distinction

Amazon had hoped to circumvent the “commercial drone use” application by claiming that delivery to their Prime members is free. However, the FAA foresaw this potential loophole and has drafted the language of the new rule to address it. The FAA has basically construed any delivery that furthers the business purpose of the sender to be commercial and subject to the ban.

In other words, while shipping may be free to Prime members, the product being purchased commercially benefits Amazon, so these deliveries fall within the definition of the rule. The reality is that Amazon is still years away from developing the technology for these commercial deliveries, so the FAA’s ruling does not immediately impact Amazon’s business. An appeals lawyer can discuss other recent changes in the law that may impact your business.

At Brownstone Law, you can discuss your case with an experienced appeals lawyer who knows how to get results for his/her clients. To schedule an appointment to discuss your legal issue, call 855.776.2773.

Speak with an appellate lawyer.