Amazon Gets Approval For Delivery Drones


The FAA has approved Amazon Prime Air’s request for a Part 135 certificate for its unmanned delivery drones. “Amazon Prime Air’s concept uses autonomous UAS (unmanned aircraft systems) to safely and efficiently deliver packages to customers,” said the FAA. “The FAA supports innovation that is beneficial to the public, especially during a health or weather-related crisis.”

The Amazon drones will be used for deliveries as far as 15 miles from a distribution center and for packages weighing 5 pounds or less. Amazon is targeting delivery in 30 minutes or less via the drones. “Prime Air has great potential to enhance the services we already provide to millions of customers by providing rapid parcel delivery that will also increase the overall safety and efficiency of the transportation system,” the company says. No word on where or when the service will launch. 

Marc Cook
KITPLANES Editor in Chief Marc Cook has been in aviation journalism for more than 30 years. He is a 4000-hour instrument-rated, multi-engine pilot with experience in nearly 150 types. He’s completed two kit aircraft, an Aero Designs Pulsar XP and a Glasair Sportsman 2+2, and currently flies a 2002 GlaStar.

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  1. This will work fine… in places like those shown in this video. Notice a total lack of obstacles like power lines, etc. I assume that suburban areas like those in the US and Europe will work reasonably well also as long as they figure out well ahead of time exactly what and where the final LZ is. Driveways are fine but they will have to be actually empty. Urban areas…. good luck.

    • Some such “welcome mat” arrangement would seem essential to reduce the amount of AI needed to avoid all possible gotchas. If for no other reason it you would want one for deliveries where the customer is not on hand. Technically, I suppose it could be as simple as a marked spot chosen by the customer on an aerial photo.

  2. I could see this working best in rural areas near a city that has a distribution center. It has the potential to save Amazon a lot in transportation costs since it would reduce the amount of time a van would take to deliver on winding country roads. In a city evnrironment, delivery to apartment or condo dwellers could be a problem.