Amazon Drone Delivery to Be Tested in the UK
We’ve all heard about Amazon’s plans to utilize drones to deliver products to their customers worldwide. Naturally, Amazon has faced roadblocks regarding this venture – is Amazon drone delivery service feasible, reasonable, and most importantly, safe?
According to a report released this week, we will soon find out. Amazon has announced its collaboration with the UK Government, which will allow them to test the use of drones to deliver packages under 5 pounds. These weight restrictions account for about 90% of Amazon orders.
With the cooperation of the Civil Aviation Authority, Amazon has been granted permission to perform test flights for drone delivery in the UK. Three major factors will be explored with this test: avoiding airspace obstacles, how to maneuver drones when the drone itself is out of sight, and multiple drones operated by a single person. Representatives from Amazon stated that above all else, the test runs will ensure that drone delivery does not put anyone’s safety at risk. Keeping the drones out of the way of other airspace vehicles will be a priority as well.
What About Amazon Drone Delivery in the US?
Testing for Amazon drones in the US is underway, but restrictions from the US government and the US FAA have hindered plans for US drone delivery significantly. The FAA and other authorities have stated that in the US, only one drone may be operated by one person, and drones may only deliver during daylight hours. The weight restrictions for Amazon drone delivery in the US would be much stricter as well.
Although the drone delivery test runs in the UK will have the necessary restrictions to ensure safety, representatives from the CAA seem to be more open to the idea of commercial drones from highly regarded companies such as Amazon.
“We want to enable the innovation that arises from the development of drone technology by safely integrating drones into the overall aviation system. These tests by Amazon will help inform our policy and future approach.” – Tim Johnson, CAA Policy Director