Amazon Launching Drone Delivery in the US: Amazon Prime Air

Key Takeaways: 

  1. The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) approved Amazon to carry drone delivery in the United States. 
  2. Amazon Prime Air, a human-monitored MK27-2 drone, is expected to make deliveries in just 60 minutes and is soon launching in the US.
  3. MK30 drones, expected to deliver parcels within 30 minutes, will come into operation by 2024.
  4. The retail giant Amazon stated that drone deliveries would only happen during the daytime, five days a week.
  5. Customers placing orders via drone get both estimated delivery time and tracking ID of their orders.


 Dive Brief:

  • Amazon Prime Air, a drone delivery service operated by Amazon, has already made air deliveries of a few packages in Lockeford, California, and College Station, Texas.
  • Amazon states MK27-2 drones have a hexagon shape with six propellers to foster stability and reduce high-frequency sound waves. 
  • Although the company is currently using MK27-2 drones,  it had already held out the prospect of a successor model in the form of the MK30 drone to be introduced in the next year.
  • The eligible drone delivery areas are divided into four sectors in the US,  with each sector having a maximum of 50 delivery flights per operating day, i.e., five days per week. 
  • Those living in eligible delivery areas can sign up, place orders, and even track them with the given tracking ID provided by Amazon. Customers also need to look out for the drop in their backyard around the estimated delivery time.


Dive Insight:

  • Reports indicate that Amazon’s drone delivery is available within 4 miles of its Prime Air Drone Delivery Center (PADDC) in California and within 3.73 miles of its delivery center in College Station, Texas. 
  • Amazon claims the MK27-2 drone can carry a maximum payload of around 5 pounds (up to 2.27 kg). Amazon says that about 85% of its orders are below that weight.
  • The improved drone is designed to be 25% quieter and smaller and handle the elements better, like high temperatures and light rain, than the current hexagonal MK27-2 drone.
  • Safety will continue to be a consideration, noted by Amazon, especially after some setbacks faced by the firm while developing the drone delivery method. A drone fell 160 feet and sparked a brush fire across 25 acres. One of the incidents happened at a test site in Pendleton, Oregon.

“With Amazon Prime Air, we are initiating a safe and environmentally-friendly method that will improve our service to millions of our customers,” Amazon’s website noted.


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