Amazon Delivery Drone Plans Include Tiered Flight Zones

July 28, 2015  - By

Amazon has announced a plan for its package-delivery drones, according to NBC News.

The proposal includes tiered flight zones that would limit small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) to slow speeds in airspace below 200 feet and allow them to fly faster for long-distance travel between 200 and 400 feet.


Commercial aircraft are governed by the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) Air Traffic Control, and in Amazon’s vision, there would be a similar central command and control network that takes in data about the position of each drone and shares it with every other vehicle connected to the network. The command and control network would also have vehicle-to-vehicle communication, similar to networks proposed for autonomous automobiles.

Amazon’s plan would be to use the space below 500 feet — minus a 100-foot buffer — for small drones such as its Prime Air vehicles.

Access to the various layers of the airspace would be governed by how well a drone can communicate with its pilot, the command and control network and other drone, according to The Verge website. “Everyone can have access to the airspace,” said Gur Kimchi, who heads up Amazon’s Prime Air program. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a hobbyist or a corporation. If you’ve got the right equipment, you can fly.”

Someone operating a radio-controlled quadcopter with no Internet connection would be relegated to the area below 200 feet.

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