The Internet retail giant outlined the state of the program and asked regulators to give it an exemption to drone-testing rules in a letter published at Regulations.gov. The rules restrict flights to six official staging areas in the United States, according to NBC News.
"We are rapidly experimenting and iterating on Prime Air inside our next generation research and development lab in Seattle," states the letter, which explains that the drones have made it through eight generations of development and can now carry 5-pound loads while flying more than 50 mph.
Yet Federal Aviation Administration regulations prohibit outdoor flights by commercial enterprises such as Amazon, and testing inside doesn't really work well. "Granting this request will do nothing more than allow Amazon to do what thousands of hobbyists and manufacturers of model aircraft do every day," the letter adds.
If the request gets granted, outdoor flights and possibly a pilot program would occur in greater Seattle.