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Amazon asks FAA for permission to fly drones

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon is officially asking the Federal Aviation Administration for permission to use drones as part of its plan to deliver packages to customers in 30 minutes or less.

The online retailer created a media frenzy in December when it outlined a plan on CBS' "60 Minutes" to deliver packages with self-guided aircrafts that seemed straight out of science fiction.

In a letter to the FAA dated Wednesday, Amazon said it is developing aerial vehicles as part of Amazon Prime Air. The aircraft can travel 50 miles per hour and carry loads of up to 5 pounds.

The FAA allows hobbyists and model aircraft makers to fly drones, but commercial use is banned. Amazon is asking for an exemption so it can test its drones in the U.S.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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