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FAA Approves Amazon Drone Expansion: Aims to Deliver 500 Million Packages per Year

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grants approval for Amazon's drone expansion. Amazon aims to deliver 500 million packages per year by 2030. New drone model, MK-30, in development for improved performance.

An Amazon MK-27 drone being service
Credit: Forbes

This milestone comes after Amazon successfully demonstrated the safety and effectiveness of its drone technology, allowing for deliveries beyond the visual line of sight.

Currently, Amazon is already utilizing drones for package delivery in select locations such as College Station, Texas, Lockeford, California, Italy, and the UK. The addition of a drone service in the Phoenix area is planned for this year.

To comply with FAA regulations, drone operators are typically required to maintain visual contact with their drones during flight. However, Amazon has passed rigorous safety testing and provided extensive analysis and test data to demonstrate the reliability and safety of its drone system.

Amazon's long-term vision is to deliver 500 million packages per year using highly autonomous drones by 2030. The company aims to create a safe and scalable system that can serve densely populated areas and provide faster delivery times of 30 minutes or less.

In order to achieve this ambitious goal, Amazon acknowledges the need for new technology and innovative delivery methods. Currently, their drones simply drop packages on the ground. However, the company is developing a new drone model, the MK-30, which will be lighter, smaller, and have improved range and weather resistance. It remains to be seen whether this new model will include landing capabilities for more delicate or fragile products.

With the FAA's approval, Amazon plans to immediately expand its drone operations in College Station, Texas. While it is unclear when other locations will receive the same permission, it is evident that competition in the drone delivery space is intensifying. Companies like Walmart and Google are also entering the market, and large cargo drones are already operating in Europe.

  • FAA grants approval for Amazon's drone expansion

  • Amazon aims to deliver 500 million packages per year by 2030

  • New drone model, MK-30, in development for improved performance

Source: Forbes

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