The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has recently approved a plan that gives Amazon a green light to test their Amazon Prime Air delivery service — developed to ship packages [under 2,25 kilograms] using drones.
After numerous complaints and warnings about the plans presented by Amazon back in 2013, the FAA established a series of rules and regulations for Amazon to test the viability of their intended services:
Under the provisions of the certificate, all flight operations must be conducted at 400 feet [120 meters] or below during daylight hours in visual meteorological conditions. The UAS must always remain within visual line-of-sight of the pilot and observer. The pilot actually flying the aircraft must have at least a private pilot’s certificate and current medical certification.
The video in the top shows an example of how the delivery service would work — a service that, as Amazon argues, would be extremely useful for shippings to close areas and deliveries to inaccessible locations.
For those who have doubts about this new technology, Amazon provided a Q&A sections on their Amazon Prime Air marketing site:
Q: Is this science fiction or is this real?
A: It looks like science fiction, but it's real. One day, seeing Prime Air vehicles will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road.
Q: When will I be able to choose Prime Air as a delivery option?
A: We will deploy when and where we have the regulatory support needed to realize our vision. We’re excited about this technology and one day using it to deliver packages to customers around the world in 30 minutes or less.
Q: How are you going to ensure safety?
A: Safety is our top priority, and our vehicles will be built with multiple redundancies.
Q: What will the Prime Air delivery vehicles look like?
A: It is too soon to tell. We are testing many different vehicle components, designs and configurations.
Q: Where are you building and testing?
A: We have Prime Air development centers in the United States, the United Kingdom and Israel, and we are testing in multiple international locations.