Senate hearing to explore Amazon delivery drones

BY newsdesk  December 2, 2013 at 6:29 PM EST

Amazon announced its intent to use drones to deliver packages under five pounds within a few years. Photo by Amazon.

A U.S. Senate committee will hold a hearing early next year on the potential economic impact of companies using drones, including the newly announced Amazon Prime Air.

BuzzFeed reported Monday an aide to Sen. Jay Rockefeller — the chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation — acknowledged plans for the hearing began before Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced plans for drone delivery.

Rockefeller said Amazon’s plan is “just one example of the potential this technology offers consumers.”

“As we move forward toward integrating drones into civilian life and capitalizing on the economic opportunities they offer, we must make certain that these aircraft meet rigorous safety and privacy standards,” he said. “I plan to hold a hearing early next year to explore the potential economic benefits of unmanned vehicles in our airspace as well as the potential risks they may create.”

H/T Sam Lane