For more than a decade, futurists have been talking about the day when drones will be used to deliver everything from packages to Pizzas. If you’ve been following the trends, you know that at least one major pizza chain has already begun experimenting with drone-based delivery. Now, Amazon’s Prime Air drone delivery system has earned a critical FAA certification, which will allow it to begin testing customer drone deliveries in selected areas.
The simple truth is that Amazon is late to the party. Google’s parent company Alphabet has a subsidiary called Wing that’s already testing drone delivery, as is UPS. In other words, the future is here.
In Amazon’s case, the certification in question is the FAA Part 135 cert, which allows operators to fly their drones out of direct line of sight.
David Carbon, the Vice President of Prime Air, had this to say about the certification:
“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.
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.”
If you haven’t been following the story closely, you may not be aware, but Amazon actually drone-delivered their first package back in 2016, in Cambridge England. Since then, the company’s drone pilots have logged thousands of hours of flight time, and the company has invested heavily in both drones and cargo aircraft in an effort to construct their own shipping and delivery network.
All that to say, it won’t be long now before you get your first drone-delivered package from Amazon!