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FAA gives go-ahead for Amazon drone-delivery tests

September 2, 2020  - By
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Amazon's latest delivery drone design was unveiled in June 2019. (Photo: Amazon)

Amazon’s latest delivery drone design was unveiled in June 2019. (Photo: Amazon)

Amazon has received U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval to use drones to deliver packages, which Amazon says will reduce package delivery time to as little as a half-hour.

The approval will give Amazon broad privileges to “safely and efficiently deliver packages to customers,” the FAA said.

Amazon joins UPS and Alphabet-owned Wing, which previously won FAA approval for their drone delivery operations.

The approval falls under Part 135 of FAA regulations, which regulates package delivery by drone. All part 135 participants must go through a five-phase process for certification.

“The FAA is encouraging innovation through the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program (IPP) by working with industry, state, local, and tribal governments to realize the benefits of drones, while informing future rules and regulations,” according to the FAA.

“Participants in these programs are among the first to prove their concepts, including package delivery by drone through part 135 air carrier certification. Part 135 certification is the only path for small drones to carry the property of another for compensation beyond visual line of sight.”

Amazon said it will use the FAA’s certification to begin testing customer deliveries. The company said it went through rigorous training and submitted detailed evidence that its drone delivery operations are safe, including demonstrating the technology for FAA inspectors.

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About the Author:


Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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