Amazon has officially asked the US aviation authorities for permission to use drones as part of its plan to deliver packages to customers in half an hour or less.
The online retailer made the request in a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday.
The company said it was developing aerial vehicles as part of an "Amazon Prime Air" service.
The aircraft would be able to travel 50mph (80kph) and carry loads of up to 5lb (2.2kg).
Amazon created a huge stir in December when it outlined the ambitious plan.
The FAA currently outlaws commercial use of drones, but industry groups are lobbying hard to overturn the ban.
Amazon is seeking an exemption so it can test the drones in the US.
Its chief executive Jeff Bezos said last year the service could be up and running within five years.
Amazon's mini drones are powered by electric motors and it is envisaged they would cover areas within a 10-mile radius of distribution centres.
Analysts say this would allow the retailer to cover a significant portion of the population in urban areas in the US.
The mini drones are said to operate autonomously and drop items at target locations using GPS co-ordinates transmitted to them.
An Amazon promotional video shows a package being picked up at a warehouse, travelling across an open field and landing in a customer's spacious rear garden.
However, blustery weather, power lines and trees could all hamper deliveries by machines that currently lack spatial awareness.
Original headline: Amazon Asks Permission For Drone Deliveries
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