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Amazon seeks FAA permission to test drones outdoors near Seattle
DEEPA SEETHARAMAN reuters.com Amazon.com Inc is seeking permission from U.S. regulators to test its delivery drones near Seattle, as part of a rapid expansion of a program that has sparked widespread debate over the safety and privacy implications of drone technology.
Chief Executive Jeff Bezos wants to use drones - small unmanned aircraft - to deliver packages in 30 minutes or less as part of the program dubbed "Prime Air." The company is developing drones that can fly at speeds of 50 miles per hour.
Now Amazon is seeking permission to test drones in outdoor areas near Seattle, where one of its research and development labs is working on the technology, according to a letter posted on the Federal Aviation Administration's website on Thursday.
Currently Amazon can test drones indoors and in other countries. But it cannot conduct R&D flight tests in open outdoor space in the state of Washington, where Amazon has its headquarters.
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