Amazon Gets Approval From FAA For Its Drone Fleet Delivery

Amazon got a green flag from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for drone fleet deliveries to its customers across the U.S. Jeff Bezos led company said on Monday that it has received a federal approval which brings them closer to the launch of drone delivery services.

The approval doesn’t mean that Amazon would be able to start its services immediately. This means that FAA has reviewed all the company’s procedures and passed all the safety tests effortlessly. However, the FAA certificate will give them the ability to test deliveries. Until now, the company has not unveiled when it’s going to start the services.

According to Amazon, it has gone through more than 500 safety processes to get the Part 135 air carrier certificate. “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,” David Carbon, Amazon’s vice president of Prime Air, said.

Amazon is not the first company to receive the critical certificate. Alphabet’s Wing and UPS Flight forward had already received approval for the flight of commercial drone. However, the afore-mentioned companies do not provide shopping services while Amazon do for its extensive platform. In 2013, CEO Jeff Bezos announced the drone program and said that it is currently testing drones in the radar of 10 miles and handle products which are under five pounds.

Fast-forward in 2016, the company made the first drone delivery in Britain. Last year, Jeff Wike, CEO of Amazon Worldwide Consumer said that it’s going to start delivering the products within few months; however, it has not started yet. Nevertheless, Amazon said that it can deliver the packages under five pounds within a distance of 15 miles under 30 minutes.

The virus outbreak has led the companies to create services that doesn’t indulge in human touch. This has increased their interests on robot but until now the technologies have not witnessed a widespread use. Moreover, FAA’s regulations are under developing phase for nationwide use. The approval process was challenging for them as their regulations were earlier designed for aircraft with human on-board.  Meanwhile, various companies are launching their drone delivery services owing to the lucrative opportunities in the foreseeable future.

“We will continue to develop and refine our technology to fully integrate delivery drones into the airspace, and work closely with the FAA and other regulators around the world to realize our vision of 30-minute delivery,” Carbon added. In 2019, Amazon unveiled fully electric hexagonal drone which has advanced spatial awareness technology to counter the obstacles. Besides this, FAA has granted USD 7.5 Million to universities for the research on “the safe integration of drones” into the national airspace.

Besides this, Amazon’s prominent robotics engineer Brad Porter has left the company to join chief technology officer (CTO) at artificial intelligence startup Scale AI Inc. At Amazon, he worked on the robots and software that powered their warehouses and took initiatives to propel the development of drones and autonomous robots.