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Amazon may invade non-US states with drones

Amazon sent a letter to the American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Monday, saying if they don't allow outdoor testing of delivery drones soon, it will go overseas to do so.

Amazon has been testing drones as a means of package delivery for some time now, but only inside their labs, and now the online retailer has reached a point where outdoor testing is necessary.

However, Amazon is unable to conduct such tests because the FAA has restricted outdoor commercial testing until it releases its official rules for drone safety.

There is no exact date on when the safety rules will be released, and Amazon seems to have lost its patience.

In the letter, as Business Insider reports, Amazon criticizes the U.S. for blocking innovation: “Our continuing innovation through outdoor testing in the United States and, more generally, the competitiveness of the American small UAS industry, can no longer afford to wait.

"Amazon is increasingly concerned that, unless substantial progress is quickly made in opening up the skies in the United States, the nation is at risk of losing its position as the center of innovation for the UAS technological revolution, along with the key jobs and economic benefits that come as a result.”

The FAA does occasionally issue "experimental certificates" for certain tests, but is yet to grant one to Amazon.

If the FAA doesn’t step up, Amazon will move overseas to test the drones: "Without the ability to test outdoors in the United States soon, we will have no choice but to divert even more of our research and development resources abroad," wrote Paul Misener, Amazon’s vice president of global public policy.