Amazon Delivery Drones Receive FAA Approval

Monday, August 31st 2020, 3:31 pm
By: CBS News

The sky's the limit, at least for e-commerce giant Amazon. Amazon's Prime Air this weekend received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to operate its unmanned package-delivery drones. 

The FAA on Saturday gave Amazon the badge of approval for its unmanned aircraft delivery system — which ultimately aims to deliver lightweight packages to customers in low-population areas within 30 minutes.

"Amazon's Prime Air concept uses autonomous unmanned aircraft systems to safely and efficiently delivery packages to customers," the FAA said in a statement to CBS News.

The agency underscored its role as a safety regulator and said it "supports innovation that is beneficial to the public, especially during a health or weather-related crisis."

Amazon said the approval marks a milestone for Prime Air — and delivery speeds. The concept is still in the testing phase, but will ultimately be deployed at scale, according to David Carbon, vice president of Prime Air. 

"This certification is an important step forward for Prime Air and indicates the FAA's confidence in Amazon's operating and safety procedures for an autonomous drone delivery service that will one day deliver packages to our customers around the world," Carbon said in a statement. 

The certificate was awarded under Part 135 of FAA regulations, which required a demonstration of Amazon's autonomous package delivery concept. 

Amazon said it will use the FAA's approval to begin test flights with the drones for certain customer deliveries, in hopes that the technology will someday serve its customers globally. 

UPS and Alphabet-owned Wing previously received FAA approval to operate their own drone delivery services. 

First published on August 31, 2020 / 3:33 PM

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