“Major technology and aerospace companies including Amazon.com Inc, Apple Inc, Intel Corp, Qualcomm Inc and Airbus SE are vying to take part in a new slate of drone tests the United States is set to announce on Wednesday, people familiar with the matter told Reuters,” Jeffrey Dastin and David Shepardson report for Reuters.

“The wide interest in the U.S. initiative, launched by President Donald Trump last year, underscores the desire of a broad range of companies to have a say in how the fledgling industry is regulated and ultimately win authority to operate drones for everything from package delivery to crop inspection,” Dastin and Shepardson report. “The pilot program will allow a much larger range of tests than are generally permitted by federal aviation regulators, including flying drones at night, over people and beyond an operator’s line of sight.”

“The U.S. Transportation Department said it will announce 10 winning state, local or tribal governments to host the experiments on Wednesday. The governments in turn have partnered with companies who will play a role in the tests,” Dastin and Shepardson report. “The initiative is significant for the United States, which has lagged other countries in drone operations for fear of air crashes. That had pushed companies like Amazon to experiment overseas. In the United Kingdom, the world’s largest online retailer already sends some packages by drone. It completed its first such mission in late 2016, taking 13 minutes from click to delivery.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’ll be the perfect way to deliver a new pair of AirPods!

“The Trump Administration’s drone program is intended to make it easier for companies to test drones by having local authorities, tribal governments, companies, and the federal government work together,” Jonathan Vanian reported for Fortune last October. “‘Overall this is a hugely important step forward,’ said attorney Lisa Ellman, who helps run the drone advocacy group Commercial Drone Alliance. ‘The intent is to open up the skies to commercial drones. It will help us gather data to inform future rule making.'”

“‘The beauty of this program is that the White House is allowing everyone from cities to states to tribal authorities to apply,’ Greg McNeal, co-founder of drone startup AirMap told Fortune in an email. ‘States and cities will apply to open the airspace for operations that they’re most interested in, that are the best fit for local conditions and complexities, and that allow them to welcome drone operations that can kickstart their drone economy,'” Vanian reported. “Drone advocacy group Small UAV Coalition, which represents companies like Google’s parent, Alphabet, and Amazon, also commended the program.”

Read more in the full article here: Everything to Know About President Donald Trump’s New Drone Program.