Amazon Drone Delivery is now A Step Closer to Reality

Amazon Drone Delivery is now A Step Closer to Reality

Someday, you won’t have to wait for the delivery truck to deliver goods to your doorstep. Thanks to the new US government rules that have cleared some hurdles, Amazon and UPS hope to provide a surplus amount of goods via drone delivery one day. It’s finally turning a dream into reality.

The Federal Aviation Administration finalized a few new rules for small and unmanned drones that could pave the way for expanded commercial use; they include drone vehicles and delivery services. And for the first time, the FAA will allow small commercial drones to fly short distances without a waiver at night over people. Small drones will also be allowed to fly over moving vehicles under certain conditions.

In a change made from a previously proposed draft, drone operators must mandatorily have their remote pilot certificates and stay prepared to display them if challenged by the authorities. The new rules apply to drone operators who use their uncrewed aircraft for work or business under the FAA’s Part 107 regulations. Over 1.7 million drones and 203,000 drone pilots have registered with the FAA, the agency stated.

“The new rules make way for the further integration of drones into our airspace by addressing safety and security concerns,” said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson. “They get us closer to the day when we will more routinely see drone operations such as the delivery of packages.” The office mentioned its submission of the rule changes to the Federal Register and expected them to publish it in January. The new guidelines will produce results 60 days after publication.

The new rules mark an essential step ahead by the US government toward a future of commercial drone deliveries, a vision outlined by Amazon in 2013. Since then, the FAA’s development of drone guidelines and regulations has advanced, inciting critics to worry that the other nations could pull ahead and gain a critical first-mover advantage in the commercial drone industry.

Industry advocates said there are as yet numerous strides ahead before drone delivery can go standard in the US — like opening up the guidelines to permit routine drone flights beyond the pilot’s visual view. Those types of expanded operations “are critical to fully realizing the promise of [drone] technology to deliver innumerable economic and societal benefits,” said the Small UAV Coalition, an industry advocacy group.

The changes made could give an advantage to companies that have all explored shipping merchandise through uncrewed aircraft. In 2019, UPS and Wing became the first companies to receive the FAA approval to operate a drone airline. Later in August, Amazon acquired the same certificate of approval. They set a goal of completing drone deliveries within 30 minutes or less of an order being placed.

Under the new FAA guidelines, small drones have to be equipped with anti-collision lights and similar technology to help remotely identify the aircraft and their operators. According to an FAA fact sheet, pilots will no longer be required to undergo an in-person training test every two years. Instead, they may complete the test online.

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