Amazon secures FAA approval to operate Prime Air delivery drones

1 September 2020 (Last Updated September 1st, 2020 16:16)

E-commerce retailer Amazon has secured approval to operate its fleet of Prime Air delivery drones from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

E-commerce retailer Amazon has secured approval to operate its fleet of Prime Air delivery drones from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The certification, which comes under Part 135 of FAA regulations, enables the company to deliver packages on small drones safely ‘beyond the visual line of sight’ of the operator.

The retailer said it will commence deliveries to customers in the US on a trial basis. Details about when and where have not been revealed by the company.

Amazon Prime Air vice-president David Carbon said: “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 realise our vision of 30-minute delivery.”

In June 2019, Amazon unveiled its latest Prime Air drone design. According to the company, Prime Air is one of its many initiatives to make all Amazon shipments net-zero carbon.

Apart from Amazon, the FAA previously granted approvals to Alphabet Inc’s unit Wing and United Parcel Service for drone delivery.

Last month, Amazon secured UK Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) clearance for its 16% investment in food delivery start-up Deliveroo.