While recent news has covered Elon Musk and Tesla’s ludicrous stock rally, fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos is still making moves. On Saturday, Amazon has received “air carrier” certification from the Federal Aviation Administration. This certification brings Amazon’s Prime Air drone delivery fleet one step closer to launching in the United States…and as a result, 30-minute delivery could soon be a reality for Amazon Prime customers.
FAA “Air Carrier” Certification is Critical for Amazon Delivery’s Drones
If Amazon hopes to achieve its goal of 30-minute delivery for Prime customers, it absolutely needed this certification. Now, Amazon has what’s known as a Part 135 air carrier certificate. If a company hopes to begin any type of drone deliveries, it must hold this particular certificate, without any exceptions.
David Carbon, head of Amazon’s drone program, provided the following quote:
“We will continue to develop and refine our technology to fully integrate delivery drones into the airspace, and work closely with the FAA and other regulators around the world to realize our vision of 30-minute delivery.”
Amazon also said it would use its newfound certification to begin to test deliveries, but didn’t comment on when or where these tests will take place. So, you may not see any Amazon delivery drones flying around in your neighborhood…but still, look up either way. You may still spot some packages carried by drones from other companies.
Amazon Isn’t the First Company to Receive FAA Certification
While this certification marks an important milestone for Amazon, the company isn’t the first to receive this stamp of approval. In October of 2019, the FAA granted its “air carrier” certification to UPS. Shortly afterward, Alphabet-owned drone company Wing received the same certification.
As these three companies all vie for market share in the delivery drone space, the main question on many consumer’s minds is which will be the first to actually begin making widespread deliveries. Considering UPS drones are already delivering medicine for CVS, Amazon may have a long way to go to catch up.