Friday, March 20, 2015

Amazon Awarded Experimental Airworthiness Certificate to Pursue UAS R&D

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has awarded Amazon Logistics, Inc. an experimental airworthiness certificate (also referred to a special airworthiness certificate-experimental category [SAC-EC]; FAA, 2014; 2015) for their UAS design to perform research and development:

The implications of the FAA awarding Amazon Logistics an experimental certificate are far reaching and indicative of the growing collaboration between industry and government. The requirements of the certificate, such as use of certified pilot, aircraft registration and marking, and consistent reporting of flight test metrics (e.g., pilot duty time, malfunctions, deviation from air traffic control [ATC] instruction, and instances of loss of communications) will help the FAA and Amazon better understand how this technology can best be applied in the National Airspace System in a safe manner (Aeronautics and Space, 2004a; 2004b; 2004c; FAA, 2015). This is further evidence of the growing industry need and willingness of government to support the exploration and further development of UAS capabilities, technologies, operational techniques, and safety management strategies. It will be through controlled collaborative research and development efforts, such as this, that we will truly begin to understand how to optimally ensure safety, while still realizing potential efficiency and effectiveness gains in appropriate application (FAA, 2013; 2014; 2015). Read more about this story at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU; 2015) The Globe website:

Aeronautics and Space, 14 C.F.R. §21.191 (2004a).

Aeronautics and Space, 14 C.F.R. §21.193 (2004b).

Aeronautics and Space, 14 C.F.R. §21.195 (2004c).

Amazon. (2014). 2014_07_prime-air_high-resolution02-compressor.jpg [image file]. Retrieved from

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. (2015, March 20). Amazon gains FAA certificate to advance small UAS delivery. The Globe. Retrieved from

Federal Aviation Administration. (2015, March 18). Amazon gets experimental airworthiness certificateRetrieved from

Federal Aviation Administration. (2014). Special airworthiness certificate. Retrieved from

Federal Aviation Administration. (2013). Integration of civil unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in 
the National Airspace System (NAS) roadmap. Retrieved from