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Amazon receives FAA approval for drone delivery trials in US

Amazon receives FAA approval for drone delivery trials in US

Approval comes as Amazon’s business surges due to Covid-19

Amazon has received approval from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to start trialling commercial deliveries via drone, according to a Bloomberg report.

That license allows Amazon to begin its first commercial deliveries in the U.S. on an experimental basis using its MK27 family of drones unveiled last year.

The retail giant follows UPS and Wing, an Alphabet subsidiary, in getting the FAA approval.

To receive FAA certification, the company had to document everything from pilot-training programs to drug testing. It also demonstrated its operations for FAA inspectors in recent days, Bloomberg says.

Still, Amazon and its competitors must clear various other regulatory and technical hurdles before the government deems them ready to operate in the highly regulated aviation sector.

“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, an Amazon vice president who oversees Prime Air, said in a statement.

The approval comes as Amazon’s business has surged during the Covid-19 pandemic as sheltered-at-home consumers take to online shopping.

In the UAE, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) transportation for both goods and people is moving closer to reality.

An agreement signed in Dubai in August seeks to chart out air corridors for autonomous aerial vehicles.

An MoU signed between the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and Dubai Air Navigation Services (DANS) seeks to define safety and security protocols of aerial transport within the geographical perimeters of Dubai “through advanced technologies”.

The MoU seeks to, among others, define test programmes, specifications of take-off and landing sites for autonomous air vehicles, among others.

Read: Sheikh Mohammed’s new law to regulate all drone operations in Dubai

In July, Dubai also issued a law regulating the operations of UAVs. The ‘Sky Dome’ initiative seeks to build a structural eco-system for drones as well as create a master plan for the infrastructure of ground stations and their use as airports, loading and connecting stations, and maintenance, operation and freight stations for drones.

Dubai has previously tested a self-flying taxi service. A video released back in 2017 showed an autonomous drone taking to the skies and safely landing at a designated spot.

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