Amazon Receives FAA Certification, Enabling It To Increase Drone Deliveries For Goods Placed Online

Amazon Receives FAA Certification, Enabling It To Increase Drone Deliveries For Goods Placed Online

Amazon said on Thursday that important approval from federal regulators will enable it to grow its drone delivery program.

Amazon, a Seattle-based company, announced on its blog that the Federal Aviation Administration has approved the use of drones for its Prime Air delivery service “beyond visual line of sight,” eliminating a restriction that had kept the aircraft from flying farther.

Amazon pilots can now remotely fly drones without having to view them with their own eyes thanks to the approval. According to an FAA representative, College Station, Texas, where the business began drone deliveries in late 2022, is covered by the approval.

In an effort to reach customers in more densely populated places, Amazon announced that it intends to immediately scale back its activities in that city. It says that the authorities’ clearance “lays the foundation” for it to expand its operations to further states across the union.

Companies have sought less complicated regulations that would allow new commercial drone applications over residential airspace, but privacy advocates and some pilots of balloons and airplanes are still hesitant.

Amazon, which has been requesting this authorization for years, announced that regulators had granted its clearance after the company developed a plan to guarantee that its drones could recognize and avoid airborne objects.

The business added that it performed flight demonstrations in front of government inspectors and provided additional engineering data to the FAA. Further, according to Amazon, “the drone safely navigated away from each of them” during those demos “in the presence of real planes, helicopters, and a hot air balloon.”

For the firm, which has been aiming to use drones to transport online goods for over ten years, the FAA’s certification is a significant step forward. In a 2013 TV interview, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, predicted that in five years, drones would be flying into people’s homes. However, obstacles related to regulations caused the company’s progress to be delayed.

Amazon announced last month that it would close one of its two drone delivery locations in the US, in Lockeford, California, and create a new location later this year in Tolleson, Arizona, a city west of Phoenix.

The company wants to deliver 500 million packages annually by drone by the end of the decade.