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File picture: IANS

Amazon gets official approval to fly delivery drones

By Floyd Matlala Time of article published Sep 1, 2020

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Johannesburg - American e-commerce giant Amazon could see its long-awaited drone delivery in the United States launch as soon as it gets a green light from the Federal Aviation Administration.

According to CNN, Amazon received a critical certificate from the FAA and now has what is called a Part 135 air carrier certificate, which must be held before a company begins drone deliveries. Amazon said it would use the approval to begin to test deliveries but did not reveal when or where the tests will take place.

The e-commerce company is said to have validated more than 500 safety and efficiency processes as part of its application for the certificate.

David Carbon, who leads the company’s drone program, said they will continue to develop and refine their technology to fully integrate delivery drones into the airspace, and work closely with the FAA and other regulators around the world to realize their vision of 30 minute delivery, CNN reported.

The company’s plans to use drones to make deliveries in 30 minutes or less has come to the surface when CEO Jeff Bezos first announced the program in December 2013. Amazon says that today it has test centres in the United States and around the world, and has logged thousands of flight hours.

Amazon becomes the third company to receive its certificate after Wing and UPS which received their own in 2019. UPS has made medical deliveries at two North Carolina hospitals. It's also delivering prescriptions from a CVS in The Villages, Florida, according to a CNN Tech.

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