Amazon Prime to Start Drone Deliveries in Lockeford, California
By Sam Boughedda
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) announced Monday that customers in Lockeford, California, will be among the first to receive Prime Air drone deliveries in the U.S.
The company’s drone delivery project has been under pressure. Late last year, observers questioned whether the project could get off the ground, while Amazon reportedly stalled FAA inquiries into drone delivery crashes.
However, Amazon said customers in Lockeford will be able to receive drone deliveries later this year.
Customers in the area will receive deliveries to their backyard, with Amazon saying the initial phase will help it «create a service that will safely scale to meet the needs of customers everywhere.»
The tech giant said it will also invest in the community, create new jobs, build partnerships with local organizations, and help reduce carbon emissions.
«Lockeford residents will soon have access to one of the world’s leading delivery innovations,” said California State Assemblyman Heath Flora, whose district includes Lockeford.
Amazon is working with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and local officials to obtain permission to conduct the deliveries.
Once all of the regulatory requirements are met, customers in Lockeford will see Prime Air-eligible items on Amazon. Once an order is placed, the drone will fly to the location, descend to the customer’s backyard, hover at a safe height, and then safely release the package.
«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,» Amazon said in its statement.