From the BBC News:
US online retailer Amazon has called for a separate airspace zone for commercial drone flights that could deliver goods to customers.
The zone would have the unmanned vehicles flying below normal planes at a height of 200 to 400ft (61 to 122m).
Air traffic control for the suggested drone space would be handled by an automated computer system.
. . . .
Amazon, Google and other mail services see drones as future delivery vehicles, but still face regulatory hurdles.
“Drones have been around for a long time when it comes to non-commercial sectors,” Andrew Milroy, technology analyst with consultancy Frost & Sullivan, told the BBC.
“But there are in fact all kinds of commercial uses for drones with parcel deliveries being just one of them. Just think of building maintenance, architects, real estate agents, etc.”
. . . .
Laying out its suggestions at a NASA convention in California, Amazon says that clarifying the use of airspace was essential for harnessing the potential of small unmanned aircraft systems in civil airspace.
“So the commercial pressure in the US to enable that technology is becoming stronger and stronger,” Mr Milroy explained.
According to the Amazon draft, a segregated civil airspace would be carved out below 500ft to enable drones to fly unhindered and without endangering civilian or military planes.
The proposal suggests airspace below 200ft for low-speed localised drone traffic such as surveying, filming and private hobby drones.
The next level between 200ft and 400ft would become a “high-speed transit space”, for drones like the ones Amazon is aiming for with its future drone delivery plans.
. . . .
According to [an Amazon] patent, the drones would be able to track the location of the person it is delivering to by pulling data from their smartphone.
“So the technology is there, the issue they are facing is the regulators – and regulators always take some time to catch up with new technology,” said Mr Milroy.
Link to the rest at BBC News and thanks to Jan for the tip.