FAA Authorizes Amazon Expansion of Deliveries by Drone

May 30, 2024

FAA Authorizes Amazon Expansion of Deliveries by Drone

On May 30, Seattle-based Amazon announced that the Federal Aviation Administration has granted the company permission to expand its program of online-order delivery via drones, known as Prime Air delivery service. By authorizing Amazon to operate delivery drones beyond the visual line of sight (“BVLOS”), the FAA effectively opened up the possibility of long-distance drone deliveries.

In the future, instead of using their own eyes to track delivery drones, pilots, operating remotely, will rely on advanced technology to monitor and control the aircraft. For now, this expanded approval applies only to College Station, Texas, where Amazon started delivering orders via drones in late 2022. The company indicates it plans to expand its air operations to more densely populated areas, beginning with deployments from facilities next to the company’s Same-Day Delivery sites.

An Amazon blog post announcing the FAA decision explained that the company has “spent years developing, testing, and refining our onboard detect-and-avoid system to ensure our drones can detect and avoid obstacles in the air,” and that test flights in the presence of FAA inspectors demonstrated the system in real-world scenarios involving planes, helicopters, and even a hot air balloon.

By the end of this decade, Amazon expects Prime Air will deliver 500 million packages annually. Product pages will identify those items eligible for free drone delivery within 1 hour. Amazon customers living in a Prime Air service area and wishing to sign up for drone delivery will need to set up a yard survey appointment intended to determine the best location for drone deliveries. Those spots will be identified by a delivery marker. During drone deliveries, no people, pets or objects will be allowed within 5 meters (17 feet) of the delivery marker.

Apartment buildings can also be surveyed to identify optimal spots for Prime Air deliveries to renters. Once notified of a delivery, the Amazon customer will use a gate access code to enter the fenced area to retrieve the package(s).

This Ecommerce news update is presented by the Butcher Block Co. BB Co. sells a wide assortment of home goods through Amazon, as well as through its own website. The company specializes in butcher block and wood plank countertops for kitchens, garages and workshops, plus butcher block tables, stationary islands, rolling kitchen islands and carts. While many of BB Co.’s products are heavy and oversized, so unlikely to qualify for delivery by drone anytime soon, the company looks forward to seeing many of its popular, lighter-weight products delivered via drone in the not-too-distant future. Such products include John Boos cutting boards and BB Co. all-natural butcher block care and cleaning products.

For more information, please visit Butcher Block Co.

Contact Info:
Name: Kathleen Grodsky
Organization: Butcher Block Co.
Address: 10448 N 21st Pl Phoenix, Arizona 85028
Phone: (877) 845-5597