Amazon is preparing to start deliveries of its retail products to its customers by drone. The first areas chosen are Lockeford, in California, and College Station, in Texas.
The world’s largest online retailer says “hundreds of residents have expressed interest in receiving their Amazon orders via drone”, and the company has built new facilities to support the expansion into the air.
The company’s drone service is called Amazon Prime Air, one of only three companies given certificates by the Federal Aviation Authority to operate drone deliveries.
California State Assemblyman Heath Flora, whose district includes Lockeford, says: “Lockeford residents will soon have access to one of the world’s leading delivery innovations. It’s exciting that Amazon will be listening to the feedback of the San Joaquin County community to inform the future development of this technology.”
Karl Mooney, College Station Mayor, says: “Amazon’s new facility presents a tremendous opportunity for College Station to be at the forefront of the development of drone delivery technology.
“We look forward to partnering with Amazon and Texas A&M and are confident that Amazon will be a productive, conscientious, and accountable participant in our community.”
John Sharp, chancellor of The Texas A&M University System, says: “Being one of the first drone delivery locations for Amazon puts College Station at the forefront of this exciting technology. What happens here will help advance drone delivery for the rest of the country and perhaps the rest of the world.
“We welcome Amazon to our community and stand ready to assist however we can.”
Amazon Prime Air has designed, built, and tested more than two dozen prototypes. Its latest version will now be used to make customer deliveries in real-world environments.
In a statement, Amazon says: “We’ve worked closely with the FAA and other regulators throughout. Prime Air is one of only three drone-delivery companies that has gone through the rigorous process to earn a FAA air carrier certificate, which will be required to operate drones using these advanced capabilities.
“It took years of inventing, testing, and improving to develop these breakthrough technologies, and we’re excited to use them to make customer deliveries.”