Press Release

Amazon Ends Drone Delivery Operations In California

Amazon, an American multinational technology company,  is ending its drone delivery operations in Lockeford, California, one of the first test sites for the experiment.

TakeAway Points

  • Amazon, one of the first companies in the United States to test the ambitious initiative, is closing its drone delivery operations in Lockeford, California.
  • The business stated that later this year, it intends to expand drone delivery services to additional American cities, including a portion of the Phoenix region.
  • Since 2013, when founder Jeff Bezos originally drew out his plan for drone deliveries, Amazon has been hesitant to grow the Prime Air programme.

Drone Delivery Ends in Lockeford

In Lockeford, California, one of the first test sites for the experiment, which has lasted ten years, Amazon is ending its drone delivery operations.

Since Amazon founder Jeff Bezos first stated in 2013 that autonomous drones would be able to deliver products weighing less than five pounds in thirty minutes or less, the programme, known as Prime Air, has had difficulty getting off the ground.

Amazon announced on Monday that it will begin offering drone deliveries in additional American cities in 2025 and that it will begin operations in a portion of the Phoenix region later this year in a blog post. The company stated that it is obtaining authorization for drone deliveries in Tolleson, Arizona, which is located west of Phoenix, from the Federal Aviation Administration and municipal authorities.

“As we look to the future and prioritize our resources to continue growing the program, we’ve also made the decision to close our delivery site in Lockeford,” the company wrote. 

Operations still Continues at Other Locations

According to Amazon, jobs at other locations will be available to its employees, and residents in Lockeford can still place orders using alternative delivery options.

The report states that Amazon test flights are currently being conducted to show off the MK30, a new delivery drone that the business introduced at an event last year, and its dependability. The drone can fly through light rain and is designed to be quieter and smaller than previous models.

Amazon was granted FAA Part 135 certification in 2020, which gave it limited authority to utilise drones for package delivery. However, Prime Air’s development has stalled.

Amazon announced that it would start testing delivery in two locations in 2022: Lockeford, a town south of Sacramento, where the programme’s introduction was first greeted with some scepticism from the locals, and College Station, Texas, a city located roughly 100 miles northwest of Houston.

Prime Air faced layoffs last year as part of larger employment cuts at Amazon, just as it was about to take off. Executive departures and regulatory setbacks were also experienced by the group.

Expanding Drone Deliveries

The report pointed that Amazon is still pushing hard to increase the number of drone deliveries. When the FAA relaxed some limitations on where its drones could operate last October, the firm cleared a major regulatory obstacle. Now, it is allowed to fly over automobiles and streets when necessary to finish a route.

Amazon and Embention, a company that creates drone components and autopilot systems, inked a contract last week. Embention will supply Amazon with safety-related hardware and software as per the terms of the deal.

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