FAA approves Amazon's drone delivery fleet

FAA approves Amazon's drone delivery fleet
© ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon's Prime Air drone delivery fleet received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Monday, making it only the third company to receive certification.

Amazon will now be allowed to "safely and efficiently deliver packages to customers,” the FAA said in a statement.

The online retail giant has been testing drone delivery since 2013 as part of its efforts to cut down on package travel time.


The certification granted Monday by the FAA allows Amazon to carry property on drones “beyond the visual line of sight” of the operator. The company submitted its petition in August 2019.

"This certification is an important step forward for Prime Air and indicates the FAA’s confidence in Amazon’s operating and safety procedures for an autonomous drone delivery service that will one day deliver packages to our customers around the world," David Carbon, vice president of Prime Air, said in a statement.

The company did not specify when deliveries might be available under the new service, but widespread use of drones is not expected in the short term.

Amazon joins Google and UPS in receiving FAA approval for commercial drone deliveries.

Wing, a delivery venture that is part of Google parent company Alphabet, has been operating in Virginia since receiving certification in April 2019.

UPS won approval in October 2019, and has been building out a hospital delivery service in North Carolina.