- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos may not be able to get delivery drones up and running in the U.S., but a partnership with the British government is a done deal.

The Civil Aviation Authority, the U.K. equivalent of the Federal Aviation Administration, issued a statement on Monday on its partnership with the retail giant.

“We want to enable the innovation that arises from the development of drone technology by safely integrating drones into the overall aviation system,” said CAA Policy Director Tim Johnson. “These tests by Amazon will help inform our policy and future approach.”

Amazon’s ambitious plans for a U.S. drone fleet were quashed in June when the Obama administration ruled that commercial drones were permissible as long as the aircraft stayed in view of a pilot and weighed less than 55 pounds.

The FAA ruling also required each drone to have its own pilot, the Guardian reported June 21.

Paul Misener, Amazon’s vice president of Global Innovation Policy and Communications, hailed CAA’s decision on Monday.

“The U.K. is a leader in enabling drone innovation — we’ve been investing in Prime Air research and development here for quite some time,” Mr. Misener said in a statement, MIT Technology Review reported. “This announcement strengthens our partnership with the U.K. and brings Amazon closer to our goal of using drones to safely deliver parcels in 30 minutes to customers in the U.K. and elsewhere around the world.”

The website noted that Amazon testing sites are also active in the Netherlands and Canada.

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