FAA Approves Drone Use by Insurance Group; Grants New Approval for Amazon

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved a request from one of the largest global insurance companies, American International Group (AIG) to operate small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for customers in the U.S.

Drone tests by AIG and Amazon
Drone tests by AIG and Amazon

´AIG said it will use the drones to conduct inspections for risk assessment, risk management, loss control, and surety performance. The exemption also permits AIG to implement a research and development programme to explore new ways to employ UAVs in support of the needs of its customers.

Earlier this month, the FAA frustrated the drone delivery test programme of U.S. e-Commerce giant Amazon with a belated approval for tests of a drone model that had already become obsolete. The delay prompted Amazon to move its test programme to Canada (CargoForwarder Global reported).

Drones will autonomously conduct operations
Last week, however, the online retailer received a new approval from the regulators, allowing test flights as fast as 160 kilometers an hour and as high as 400 feet off the ground. Amazon is attempting to develop autonomous drones that can dodge obstacles and find specific addresses to speed the delivery of small packages.

Meanwhile, AIG has established an international UAV research and development programme and conducted flights in New Zealand. AIG said these flights have provided valuable insights on technology, flight operations, and image collection techniques that will be incorporated into AIG’s global UAV strategy.

Nol van Fenema

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