FAA Recognizes Amazon’s Drone Department As An Airline

Editorial

Amazon took a big step this week towards the delivery of goods with drones. Amazon Prime Air, the online retailer’s drone delivery service, has been designated an official airline by the FAA, the United States’ aviation authority. As a result, the company now has permission to test commercial drone flights in the US.

The number of online orders has grown considerably in recent years, but the coronavirus outbreak has further strengthened that growth. Because countless physical stores had to close for a long time, many people made their purchases online.

Before drone deliveries to people’s homes become reality, Amazon Prime Air still has to overcome a number of hurdles after the test phase. Following the test phase, the FAA sets all kinds of regulations before the delivery drones will officially be allowed to fly. Still, the recognition shows that Amazon has convinced the government that this form of freight delivery is safe.

“This certification is an important step forward for Prime Air. It indicates that the FAA is confident in our procedures for an autonomous drone delivery service that will one day deliver packages to our customers around the world.”

David Carbon, Amazon VP

It is not known where Amazon will test drone deliveries in the United States. Bloomberg reports that the company has test sites in the northwest of the country, near their headquarters in Seattle. The company has previously carried out experimental deliveries in the United Kingdom.

Amazon is not the only retailer to receive such FAA approval. The company joins, among others, delivery services UPS and Wing, a subsidiary of Google. UPS uses drones to fly medical supplies around a hospital campus in North Carolina while Wing has been carrying out drone deliveries in Virginia since last year.

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