Just like Santa Claus, Amazon now delivers by air, only instead of reindeer there are drones. The online shopping giant has officially launched operations for air deliveries after the approval of the Federal Aviation Administration americana (FAA).
Several families in Lockeford (in Northern California) and College Station (Texas) have already received the first Amazon parcels via drone last week, just before Christmas. The company, with this solution, aims to make deliveries in less than an hour.
“Our goal is to introduce our drones to the skies in complete safety. The service will soon be expanded into new regions,” he said Natalie Banksspokesperson for Amazon Prime Air.
The FAA regulates Amazon’s airline operations
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) previously gave Amazon clearance to test drone package delivery in 2020. To get the final go-ahead, the company had to file papers and certifications regarding drone safety and security. environmental impact of their work. On November 14, 2022, the FAA granted Amazon drone delivery authorization for Lockeford, while for College Station the green light arrived on December 12. The FAA’s official document regulating the operations reads:
“Operations for College Station PADDC and Lockeford PADDC are licensed during daylight hours only for up to five days a week. Both areas of operation [le città, ndr] are divided into four sectors. Each sector will be able to have a maximum of approximately 50 delivery flights per operating day. For each sector it will not be possible to have more than one drone in flight at the same time”.
It should be noted that Lockeford is a very small town, with just 3,500 inhabitants. College Station, on the other hand, is slightly wider. Residents of both American cities can now shop on Amazon by choosing drones as their delivery option. At that point customers will receive both tracking information and an estimated delivery time. The drone will drop the package in your home garden or in the first suitable area.
What are Amazon’s drones like?
The drones used by Amazon are called MK27-2, have a hexagonal shape with 6 propellers that allow the device to remain stable in flight. Although the devices are absolutely autonomous and programmed to avoid impacts with obstacles such as chimneys and antennas, Amazon says that for this first phase they will all be monitored by individual operators. It is an almost obligatory choice for the online giant, given some accidents that occurred during the test phase. One of the most serious, which occurred in Pendleton, Oregon, caused a huge fire after a drone crashed from about 50 meters high.
Amazon is also currently testing a new model called MK30. This, considered safer and lighter than the current MK27-2, is expected to enter service in 2024. The MK30, according to The Verge, is smaller and better withstands high temperatures and light rain.