Earlier in December 2013, Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos stated that drones would fly to customer’s homes in five years. Last year, Amazon unveiled several self-piloting electric Amazon delivery drones that can carry 5 pounds of goods and are designed to deliver items in 30 minutes by dropping them in a person’s backyard.  At the time, an Amazon official stated that deliveries to shoppers would start soon “within months.” However, it’s been more than 14 months since that statement.

Recently, the Federal Aviation Administration stated that the e-commerce giant Amazon is free to test its delivery drones across the United States, as long as the company flies its drones under an altitude of 400 feet and at a maximum speed of 100 miles per hour. It was just last month that the FAA issued a similar approval, but that was for an old prototype, one that Amazon said became outdated by the time the approval was issued. As of now, Amazon can freely test its Prime Air service, while also creating a substantial regulatory pathway for similar businesses who are interested in launching similar drone flight services.

Amazon Delivery Drones for Delivery Consumer Products

Amazon stated that the approval is a “crucial step,” but added that it is still testing and flying the drones.

Though this move by the FAA is a significant milestone for Amazon, for Prime Air, this is the ultimate vision- where drones would fly autonomously for many miles to reach the customers conveniently at their homes. However, it will still be a hamstrung by the FAA’s recently proposed rules that state that in commercial drone operations, the drones should stay within the operator’s line of sight at all times. Over time, if this rule doesn’t change or bend, it could create problems for the e-commerce giant. Amazon is also prohibited from flying its drones over the “densely populated areas,” in addition to following the guidelines. This means that the tests will be a highly limited version of what Amazon intends to accomplish through Prime Air.

When the rules were initially proposed in February this year, Amazon’s vice president for global public policy, Paul Misener, stated that “The FAA needs to think and expeditiously complete the formal processes to address the needs of the businesses and the customers. We are deeply committed to realizing our vision for Prime Air and are preparing to deploy them where we get the regulatory support we need.”

The Federal Aviation Administration recently stated that it granted Amazon the approval to deliver packages by drones. The conglomerate stated that the approval is a “crucial step,” but added that it is still testing and flying the drones. It did not mention as to when it expected the drones to start making deliveries to shoppers. The online shopping giant is working on at-home drone delivery for many years, but regulatory hurdles have slowed.

Seattle-based Amazon is the third Amazon drones delivery service that has won the flight approval, the FAA stated. Delivery company UPS and another company owned by search giant Google got the approvals last year.