Amazon to begin 'Prime Air' drone delivery in first city
LOCKEFORD, Calif. (KTXL) — Amazon announced on Monday that customers in one California city will be the first to receive some shipments via drone later this year.
The drone delivery option is launching in Lockeford, an unincorporated part of San Joaquin County, about 50 miles south of Sacramento. Amazon said it is working to get permission from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and local officials in Lockeford to start the drone deliveries.
“Lockeford residents will soon have access to one of the world’s leading delivery innovations,” said California State Assemblyman Heath Flora. “It’s exciting that Amazon will be listening to the feedback of the San Joaquin County community to inform the future development of this technology.”
Amazon calls its drone delivery service Prime Air and says its drones can carry up to five pounds.
According to Amazon, after a customer has been “onboarded” and orders a package, a delivery drone will fly to their backyard, descend into the yard, drop the package and then fly away.
Amazon’s Prime Air service is one of three drone delivery companies that has earned an FAA air carrier certificate, according to the company. Amazon says it works closely with the FAA and other regulators throughout the country.
“It took years of inventing, testing and improving to develop these breakthrough technologies and we’re excited to use them to make customer deliveries,” Amazon said in a press release.
Lockeford has a history in the aviation industry, as it was the home of pioneer Weldon B. Cooke, who built and flew planes in the early 1900s, according to Amazon. According to Amazon, Lockeford residents will have an “important role in defining the future.”
“Their feedback about Prime Air, which drones delivering packages in their backyards, will help us create a service that will safely scale to meet the needs of customers everywhere — while adding another innovation milestone to the town’s aviation history,” the company said.