Amazon drone delivery: Online retail giant gets FAA approval to fly packages to customers
NEW YORK - Getting an Amazon package delivered from the sky is closer to becoming a reality.
The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday it had granted Amazon approval to deliver packages by drones.
Amazon said that the approval is an “important step," but added that it is still testing and flying the drones. It did not say when it expected drones to make deliveries to shoppers.
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The online shopping giant has been working on drone delivery for years, but it has been slowed by regulatory hurdles. Back in December 2013, Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos said in a TV interview that drones would be flying to customer’s homes within five years.
Last year, Amazon unveiled self-piloting drones that are fully electric, can carry 5 pounds of goods and are designed to deliver items in 30 minutes by dropping them in a backyard. At the time, an Amazon executive said deliveries to shoppers would be happening “within months,” but more than 14 months have passed since then.
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Seattle-based Amazon is the third drone delivery service to win flight approval, the FAA said. Delivery company UPS and a company owned by search giant Google won approval last year.