Murad Ahmed, European Technology Correspondent
Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos has hailed the UK’s regulatory regime for drones, as the online retailer hints of the possibility of launching its flying delivery vehicles in Britain before initiating lift-off worldwide.
Mr Bezos said UK’s rules on unmanned aerial vehicles represented “a very encouraging example of good regulation”.
His endorsement comes amid growing hope that Britain can become an international hub for the non-military drone sector, a belief that stems from the fact that the UK’s regime on drones is more relaxed than elsewhere, particularly the US.
Britain’s Civil Aviation Authority has granted permission to more than 850 commercial groups to conduct aerial work in the country using the machines.
This regulatory regime has allowed US tech groups to set up test bases in the UK. Amazon began trials for its fleet of delivery drones in Cambridgeshire last year, having quickly gained the blessing of the UK authorities. But the Seattle-based company has had to wait months to gain similar permission to test its vehicles at home, with the US Federal Aviation Administration only granting approval last March.