Amazon's Prime Air drone delivery program has had a slow start, with just a handful of deliveries made in its first few weeks of operation. According to a new report, the Federal Aviation Administration has blocked drones from flying over roads or people unless Amazon gets permission on a case-by-case basis. This, combined with the limited payload capacity of Amazon's drones, is slowing down the program.
The FAA has imposed strict conditions on Amazon's drone delivery program, including a requirement that Amazon employees check that no cars are passing on surrounding roads before drones leave the delivery facility. The FAA has also raised concerns about the mass of the Amazon drones, which are far heavier than those of other delivery companies.
Amazon spokesperson Maria Boschetti said that the company is adhering to safety standards and has obtained the necessary regulatory authorization. Despite the Prime Air layoffs, Boschetti said that Amazon's plans for the test sites remain unchanged. It's unclear when Amazon will be able to expand the drone delivery program on a wider scale.