Amazon Gets Closer to Drone Delivery with FAA Approval

Amazon received a vital certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration on Saturday, bringing it an action closer to releasing drone delivery in the United States.

Amazon ( AMZN) now has what’s called a Part 135 air provider certificate, which must be held before a business starts drone deliveries. Amazon stated it would utilize the approval to start to test shipments but decreased to state when or where the tests will occur. Amazon stated it confirmed more than 500 security and effectiveness procedures as part of its application for the certificate.

The company has long stated it prepares to use drones to make deliveries in 30 minutes or less. CEO Jeff Bezos first announced the program in December 2013. Amazon says that today it has test centers in the United States and all over the world, and has logged countless flight hours. In December 2016, it made its first drone shipment in Britain.

Its development has been slow going since. In June 2019, Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon Worldwide Customer, said the company planned to deliver by drone within months, however hasn’t yet. (Wilke will retire early next year.) David Carbon, a previous Boeing executive, joined Amazon and took the lead on its drone program this previous March. He called the accreditation a crucial step. “We will continue to develop and fine-tune our technology to completely integrate shipment drones into the airspace, and work carefully with the FAA and other regulators all over the world to recognize our vision of thirty minutes shipment,” Carbon stated.

Social distancing issues during the pandemic have increased interest in using robotics for shipment, however, the innovations aren’t ready yet for extensive use. The FAA is likewise still establishing regulations required for extensive drone use, such as the remote identification of drones.

Amazon is the 3rd drone delivery company to get the accreditation from the FAA. UPS and Wing, a subsidiary of Google’s parent business Alphabet, both received their own in 2019. UPS has made medical deliveries at 2 North Carolina healthcare facilities. It’s also delivering prescriptions from a CVS in The Villages, Florida, according to a UPS spokesman.

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