Amazon drones deliver fewer homes than the title suggests
The FAA is said to have strict requirements for the Prime Air program.
Amazon’s drone delivery program doesn’t seem to be off to a good start. The Premier Water Division is said to have been slashed across the board. Now, a new report shows that Amazon’s drones made only a handful of deliveries during the first few weeks of operations.
After nearly a decade, Amazon announced in December that it would begin delivering deliveries by drone in Rockford, Texas, and College Station. But by mid-January, only seven homes had received Amazon packages via drone : two in California and five in Texas.
The report found that Amazon is being thwarted by the Federal Aviation Administration, which prevents drones from flying over roads or people unless the company applies for permits on a case-by-case basis. When Amazon was granted the FAA certification, the agency imposed a number of restrictions that have so far not been disclosed. Most have rejected calls for Amazon to relax restrictions.
One plan, approved by the FAA, would require Amazon employees to check surrounding streets for clear vehicles before the drones leave the Lockford delivery facility. The warehouse is located in an industrial area and the drone must fly at least one way before reaching the house.
Amazon’s drone is heavier than its Wing and Walmart counterparts Flytrex and Zipline. Their weight ranges from 10 kilograms to 40 pounds. And Amazon’s drone weighs about 80 pounds and can only carry a payload of 5 pounds. The report said the volume of drones could be a concern for FAA officials. The agency authorizes Wing, Flytrex and Zipline to operate this route – and Wing has made more than 300,000 deliveries to date.
Another downside to Amazon’s future is that people who want to use drones for deliveries will need knowledge of package delivery, so people living in apartments shouldn’t apply. Drones can only carry boxes of certain sizes and drop packages from 12 feet, which also limits the types of products they can carry.
“We meet or exceed all safety standards and regulations for commercial drone deliveries,” Amazon spokeswoman Maria Boschetti told The News . ensure that all drone companies meet appropriate design, construction and operating standards.