Amazon to Significantly Expand Drone Deliveries Following Crucial FAA Approval

Amazon announced plans to expand the range and reach of its drone deliveries across the United States, following approval from the Federal Aviation Administration. This approval allows Amazon to operate its delivery drones beyond the visual line of sight of drone operators.

This achievement marks a significant milestone in Amazon’s ongoing effort to deliver packages via drone, an initiative first revealed more than a decade ago by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos during a “60 Minutes” segment.

Amazon gained this approval after demonstrating its onboard detect-and-avoid technology, proving that its drones can safely navigate around obstacles through testing and real-world flights.

“We conducted flight demonstrations in the presence of FAA inspectors to show our system works in real-world scenarios—we flew in the presence of real planes, helicopters, and a hot air balloon to demonstrate how the drone safely navigated away from each of them,” Amazon stated in a Thursday morning post.

Even when the drone is not directly visible, technology enables a remote operator to “monitor and control the drone at all times,” Amazon added.

With the new FAA approval, Amazon plans to initially expand its existing operations in College Station, Texas, targeting more densely populated areas.

Later this year, Amazon intends to integrate drone deliveries into its delivery network by setting up drone facilities adjacent to its same-day delivery sites, which combine elements of fulfillment centers and delivery hubs. In April, Amazon announced its first co-located drone site in Arizona.

Amazon’s ultimate goal is to deliver 500 million packages per year via drone by the end of the decade.

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