Well, it’s finally happening. After years of promising to bring drone deliveries to the masses, Amazon Prime Air has finally gotten approval to operate as a drone airline.
The clearance, which comes from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), classifies Amazon’s drone delivery program as an “air carrier”. This will allow Amazon to begin commercial trial deliveries across certain parts of the United States, which will in turn allow the FAA to modify its rules and regulations when it comes to unmanned aerial deliveries.
You wouldn’t want hundreds of drones flying around your neighborhood now, would you?
This comes as a big change for the FAA, who have until recently been mostly working with aircrafts meant for people. According to Bloomberg, Amazon had to provide a wide list of documentation, from the training the drone pilots receive to actual drug tests.
Even though Prime Air is certified, it may take years before it can become the norm. The FAA is still working on finalizing its regulations for drone deliveries, and Amazon itself has to test it out in different-sized areas before it can bring Prime Air to the country (or better yet, the world).
Amazon is keeping quiet as to where these initial tests will take place, but there’s a good chance they will take place somewhere in the Northwest United States and Vancouver, where Amazon has various test sites.
Considering the state of the world we live in now, where human contact is discouraged and online shopping is seeing a large surge, Prime Air couldn’t come sooner.