Amazon has announced plans to use drones for parcel delivery in the UK, with a targeted delivery time of under an hour. This service is set to begin at the end of 2024, starting in a location yet to be disclosed. The company has already been offering drone deliveries for packages weighing no more than 5 pounds (2.2 kilograms) in certain areas of the United States.
Amazon is collaborating with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to ensure compliance with regulations in the UK, and the government is supportive of the move, emphasising its potential to improve consumer choices and reduce emissions through the use of zero-emission technology. David Carbon, the vice president of Amazon Prime Air, believes there is demand for drone delivery technology in the UK and has stated that it is “absolutely safe.”
Customers will have the option to select drone delivery for thousands of items weighing 5 pounds or less, including products like washing up liquid, toothbrushes, beauty products, and batteries. The process will involve customers placing an order on Amazon’s website, triggering a chain of events that leads to the drone delivering the package to the customer’s specified location.
The specific location in the UK where the drone deliveries will begin will be disclosed in the coming months. Amazon intends to start in a “lightly populated suburban area” and gradually expand its services based on regulatory approvals. The government’s aviation minister, Baroness Vere, views Amazon’s plans as a means to stimulate the economy and promote eco-friendly, zero-emission technology. The government also has plans to make commercial drones a common sight by 2030.