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U.S. Attacks on Drone Use May Trigger Trouble for Amazon

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (Reed Saxon/AP Photo)
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (Reed Saxon/AP Photo)

 

(247 Wall Street) – Unmanned drones are used by groups as widely dispersed as hobbyists who want to take videos of their neighborhoods to Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), which wants to use the machines to make deliveries. No matter what the use, it could be severely restricted by a ruling set by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Drones may not fly unregulated.

The case that will begin a clampdown in earnest concerned drone use by Raphael Pirker, who flew his machine over the campus of the University of Virginia in 2011. In its opinion on Pirker’s actions, NTSB officials said:

In reaching its decision, the Board determined the FAA may apply the regulation that prohibits operation of an aircraft in a careless or reckless manner to unmanned aircraft.

“Careless and reckless” are apparently open to interpretation. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has already prohibited the use of most drones for commercial reasons. The NTSB decision reinforces that.

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