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Amazon partners with UK government to test drone deliveries

RBR Staff Writer Published 26 July 2016

Online retail giant Amazon has entered into a partnership with UK Government to expand its testing of delivery drones.

Supported by UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), a cross-government team has given permissions to Amazon to explore three key innovations.

The innovations include beyond line of sight operations in rural and suburban areas, testing sensor performance to make sure that the drones can identify and avoid obstacles and flights where one person can operate multiple highly-automated drones.

Both Amazon and the UK government are of the opinion that this work will help in understanding better about safe and reliable application of drone technology in logistics industry.

It will also help in identifying the operating rules and safety regulations that are needed for moving the drone industry forward.

Amazon global innovation policy and communications vice president Paul Misener said: “The UK is a leader in enabling drone innovation – we’ve been investing in Prime Air research and development here for quite some time.

“This announcement strengthens our partnership with the UK and brings Amazon closer to our goal of using drones to safely deliver parcels in 30 minutes to customers in the UK and elsewhere around the world.”

Misener continued: “Using small drones for the delivery of parcels will improve customer experience, create new jobs in a rapidly growing industry, and pioneer new sustainable delivery methods to meet future demand.

“The UK is charting a path forward for drone technology that will benefit consumers, industry and society.”

The CAA will be directly involved in the work to explore the potential for safe use of drones beyond the line of sight. The results obtained from these tests will also help in taking informed decisions, future policy and regulation in the area.

CAA policy director Tim Johnson said: “We want to enable the innovation that arises from the development of drone technology by safely integrating drones into the overall aviation system.

“These tests by Amazon will help inform our policy and future approach.”