AMAZON UK: The UK’s flexibility to the current drone flying regulations is seen as a significant breakthrough.
It set up a useful partnership between the government and the US ecommerce company Amazon.
The Amazon drone program ‘Prime Air‘ originated in 2013. The long term strategy is to deliver product packages directly to businesses and homes using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).
But, the program is encountering constant red tape regulations and fluctuating airspace rules.
A change in drone rules will now allow new flight testing procedures to go ahead. They will take place around certain rural areas of the United Kingdom. The Civil Aviation Authority will oversee the testing phases.
The US Company received permission to operate its vehicles in previously prohibited drone no-fly zones.
But, Amazon drone pilots must follow certain regulations. They cannot test their flights outside the line of sight. Likewise they must not fly multiple drones simultaneously.
Amazon Prime Air Drone Program
The Amazon Prime Air concept is a drone-based delivery system. It operates in the United Kingdom through Amazon.com.
- Flight Range: 10 miles (16 km)
- Maximum Altitude: 400 feet
- Estimated Delivery Time: 30 minutes
- Weight: 55 pounds (24.9 kg)
- Maximum Load: 5 pounds (2.26 kg)
The CAA policy director suggested the drone technology tests help create information for their own policies.
They said it will help their own approach towards future drone delivery operations in the United Kingdom. The CAA is particularly focused on research into the ‘sense and avoid‘ technology.
Drone Sense and Avoid Technology
Amazon innovation allows its drones to perceive obstacles in their path. Even more important, it then avoids colliding with them.
As a rule, and to avoid drone flying civil convictions, they design unmanned aerial vehicles to fly lower than 400 feet. The packages they carry weigh no more than 2.26 kilograms.
Some countries still have concerns over privacy laws. The reason is because most of the high-end drones get equipped with on-board cameras. Security is also a challenging factor for UAV lawmakers. These unmanned aircraft could get used to deliver weapons or drugs.
Comments issued by the vice-president at Amazon summed up the importance of changing the current UAV flight rules. He used them to address drone package delivery in the United Kingdom.
The UK is a leader in enabling drone innovation. The deal brings Amazon closer to the goal of using drones. The aim is to safely deliver parcels in 30 minutes to customers around the world.”
Will Drone Delivery be Commercially Feasible?
The Amazon UK promotion starred Jeremy Clarkson (ex Top Gear). In reality, there will always be some analysts who question whether the innovative Amazon delivery system is commercially feasible.
Even so, there is no disputing their research and growing investment in logistics and transportation networks. Drone testing and research is already in progress in the United States, Canada, Israel, and Austria.
The Royal Mail
The Royal Mail have not yet begun formal testing of drone parcel deliveries in the UK. But, they said they are considering the use of drones for package deliveries to remote areas.
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