On Monday (June 13), Amazon announced on the “Today” show that Lockeford, California, will be the launch community for Prime Air deliveries later this year. Packages weighing less than five pounds will be delivered within one hour from an Amazon facility roughly 15 miles away, according to the announcement. In a blog post, the company wrote that the drones, with the capability of identifying fixed objects in their flight pathway, will “descend to the customer’s backyard, and hover at a safe height … then safely release the package and rise back up to altitude.”

According to a report in Politico, the FAA did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Commercial drone operation requires special certification from the agency. The pathway involves five phases toward acquiring a license to carry “property of another” beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS). A 381-page FAA report published in March and cited in the Politico story indicated the agency is open to easing restrictions on BVLOS operations.

With a long-standing ambition to explore unmanned aircraft carriage of products, Amazon head Jeff Bezos first projected that drone deliveries could start as early as 2015.

The post Amazon Announces Drone Deliveries To Start In California Town This Year appeared first on AVweb.

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