US regulators’ sluggishness over drone testing could be an opportunity for the UK, a leading academic has said.
The firm said that, by the time it had been given permission to test one prototype, the drone had already been rendered obsolete.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said the congestion of America’s airspace justified its slow approach.
Paul Misener, Amazon’s vice president for global public policy, told the committee earlier this week that permission to conduct outdoor tests on a home delivery drone prototype had taken more than six months to be granted, and came through about a week ago.
“We don’t test it anymore. We’ve moved on to more advanced designs that we are already testing abroad,” he said.
Mr Misener told the Senate Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety and Security: “Nowhere outside of the United States have we been required to wait more than one or two months to begin testing.”
Amazon has previously said it wanted to use drones to deliver packages to people’s homes. The flights would cover distances of 10 miles (16 km) or more and would require drones to travel autonomously while equipped with technology to avoid collisions with other aircraft.