Still Awaiting drone deliveries
Stores and businesses like Instacart went on hiring sprees; in certain areas, it was very difficult, maybe impossible, to get products delivered.
You understand what could have made things a bit simpler? Drones. It has taken years for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to allow the use of unmanned aerial apparatus for commercial shipping. Over the span of a decade, we have gone from a complete ban to slow, heavily controlled, and limited preliminary testing. It did that by minding Amazon as an”air carrier” and making it subject to some relatively recent regulations intended to facilitate drone deliveries.
The FAA’s rules initially demanded that personal drones remain in sight of the operator at all times. That simply will not work for delivery solutions. So in 2019, the agency introduced a particular certi?cation procedure that would enable approved pilots to operate drones across considerably longer distances. Wing Aviation, a subsidiary of Google, received a number of those ?rst certi?cations and started a pilot program to deliver food and pharmaceuticals in Virginia. The business was not ready to begin sending delivery out drones instantly, and it has declined to state where these deliveries will start. But last year the company revealed that its ?eet can carry packages weighing around ?ve pounds and send them inside a 15-mile range in less than 30 minutes.
The FAA also recently granted the firm Zipline a temporary waiver enabling it to provide medical supplies in North Carolina.
Zipline had been working for some time in Africa, but the United States continues to lag behind both developing and developed nations in giving drone firms the freedom to check their solutions.
While Amazon nevertheless faces several technical and regulatory hurdles, it is good that the government is providing it this new room to maneuver. Too bad it took the feds this much time to allow that, especially as the pandemic made drone deliveries not just a futuristic innovation but some thing we might have used yesterday.