That Moment You Realize Amazon Isn’t Kidding About Drones for Deliveries

Jul 15, 2014 8:12 AM  By

Amazon Prime Air Drone

And you thought they were kidding… Amazon hopes to take a step forward in its Amazon Prime Air initiative by testing drones like these outdoors, and has petitioned the Federal Aviation Administration for permission to do so.

Remember back on Cyber Monday Eve, when Jeff Bezos told CBS correspondent Charlie Rose that by 2015, Amazon will be able to deliver orders via drones?

That was not just a publicity stunt for the CBS show 60 Minutes… And the (air ship) just got real…

Read Amazon's Petition for Exemption, filed with the Federal Aviation Administration on July 9, which it hopes will allow it to test its delivery-by-drone service outdoors.

Amazon’s FAA Petition

Last week, in a letter to the Federal Aviation Commission, Amazon petitioned for drone test flights in the United States. In the letter to FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta, Amazon says its commercial status has limited the merchant to conducting research and development flights indoors, or in other countries. Amazon says it is a necessary step towards realizing the consumer benefits of Amazon Prime Air, and that the merchant’s continuing  innovation in the United States requires the requested exemption for outdoor testing in support of its R&D.

“One day, seeing Amazon Prime Air will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road
today, resulting in enormous benefits for consumers across the nation,” wrote Amazon vice president of global public policy Paul Misener in the petition. “We respectfully submit
this petition for exemption so that Prime Air can be ready to launch commercial operations as
soon as eventually permitted by subsequent FAA action.”

The goal of Amazon Prime Air, according to Amazon, is to get packages into customers’ hands in 30 minutes or less using unmanned aerial vehicles. Amazon said putting Prime Air into commercial use will take some number of years as it advances the technology and waits for the necessary FAA rules and regulations.

Here’s a look at a Prime Air test run:

When perfected, Bezos told Rose that it could offer customers within 10 miles of an Amazon fulfillment center half hour delivery of objects up to up to five pounds. That, Bezos told Rose, covers 86% of the items that Amazon delivers.

You can see the whole Nov. 30, 2013 60 Minutes segment here: