Amazon receives approval to start flying drones. Here’s what you need to know

Amazon Prime Air
Credit: Amazon

Even in the midst of a global pandemic, Amazon continues to innovate and push through barriers. On Monday, August 31, the company received FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) approval to begin testing Amazon Prime Air commercial drone delivery fleets. 

According to CNBC, these privileges awarded by the FAA are “broad” and allow Amazon to “safely and efficiently deliver packages to consumers beyond the visual line of sight.” Prime Air delivery drones mean packages come right to customers’ doorsteps.

The FAA approval and certification for commercial delivery drones falls under Part 135 of FAA regulations. 

As American consumers, we are all familiar with Amazon’s famous two-day delivery system. It has been a lifesaver for many individuals during the holiday season, before school, or even just when you order something you can’t wait to get your hands on. 

Just last year, Amazon started providing the option for one-day delivery for customers, investing billions of dollars into the transition. With Prime Air, members could receive their packages by small drones in a 30 minute delivery window or less after placing an order. 

This announcement by the FAA is big news for Amazon, as they originally launched the idea of drone delivery back in 2013. Now, they will be able to test their equipment in “areas with low population density.” Packages will also need to weigh five pounds or less to qualify for Prime Air delivery. Imagine a fleet of delivery drones in the sky and you get the idea.

So, what happens now? 

CNBC states that while Amazon is not yet ready to actively deploy package deliveries on a large scale, the company is constantly flying the drones and testing the technology to prepare. 

You may not see a drone flying over your house tomorrow, but I wouldn’t put the thought completely out of your mind just yet. 

This approval means big things for Amazon, as David Carbon, Vice President of Prime Air, explained: “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.”

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