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Innovation

Amazon given green light to test UK drone delivery

Amazon has today announced a partnership with the UK government to test drone deliveries and develop regulation of the emerging commercial industry.

A cross-government team supported by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has given Amazon the green light to explore three key innovations: beyond line of sight operations in rural and suburban areas, testing sensor performance to make sure the drones can identify and avoid obstacles, and flights where one person operates multiple highly-automated drones.

“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,” said Paul Misener, Amazon’s VP of global innovation policy and communications.

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

As the UK’s aviation safety regulator, the CAA will be fully involved in this work to explore the potential for safe use of drones beyond line of sight. The outcomes of these tests will help inform the development of future policy and regulation in this area.

“We want to enable the innovation that arises from the development of drone technology by safely integrating drones into the overall aviation system,” said Tim Johnson, CAA policy director. “These tests by Amazon will help inform our policy and future approach.”

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