It turns out the fields are greener for Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) just over the United States border for its drone testing program.
According to a new report from the British publication The Guardian, Canada is where all the action is at for Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and its drones particularly because the Canadians are so willing to let the Internet commerce giant do the experiments it needs.
“The contrast between the relative rigidity of the FAA’s approach to drone testing and the relatively relaxed regulatory regime in Canada is startling. Under the Canadian system, Amazon has been granted a virtual carte blanche regarding its entire fleet of drones within its designated airspace, having gone through a licensing process that took just three weeks,” Ed Pilkington writes for the publication from British Columbia.
British Columbia is where the secret drone testing facility being used by Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is located, according to Pilkington who reports he was invited to the private testing facility. It is reportedly not even that far from the U.S. border, and the drones can essentially fly over to the U.S which is just 2,000 feet away. Not that the company would want that, however, as it has openly criticized the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for its slow processing of needed permits and guidelines for drone testing.
The FAA granted Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s request to test delivery drones just this third week of March. However, the company has openly said that the FAA is so slow that the prototype in the approved papers is now already obsolete. The company said that they don’t test that particular drone model anymore, have moved to “more advanced designs,” and are testing those designs “abroad”.
Abroad, it turns out, is not too far from America.
It has to be noted, too, that Amazon appears to be asking other countries, including the United Kingdom, to allow it to test drones. U.K. Minister of Transportation Robert Goodwill is reportedly keen on letting the company test its drones there for “innovation,” exactly what Amazon is warning the U.S. will be left behind in if it continues to be slow in approving trials for projects such as this.
According to The Guardian, a “formidable team of roboticists, software engineers, aeronautics experts and pioneers in remote sensing – including a former NASA astronaut and the designer of the wingtip of the Boeing 787,” are testing drones in Canada.
Boykin Curry’s Eagle Capital Management owned about 1.72 million Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) shares by the end of 2014.
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