Amazon’s Chief Executive Jeff Bezos made a statement saying that the company is ready to roll out drones, called Octocopters, capable of deliverig packages weighing up to 2.3kg to customers within 30 minutes of them placing the order.
However, it might take up to five years for the service, coded Prime Air, to lift off the ground because of the regulations hurdles. Currently unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) do not have the awareness of their environment to be able to avoid flying into people. To deliver goods to people’s homes in residential areas, the UAVs must overfly densely populated towns and cities, something that today’s regulations prevent.
The US Federal Aviation Administration is yet to approve the use of unmanned drones for civilian purposes. So far, the FAA has approved the use of drones for police and government agencies, issuing about 1,400 permits over the past several years.
Elsewhere, Zookal, an Australian textbook rental company, announced earlier this year that it would start using drones to make deliveries from 2015 if approved by Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority. Australian law allows the use of unmanned aircraft for commercial use.