By: Krystal Hu
Source: Yahoo Finance
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a certificate to Amazon Prime Air on Wednesday, allowing the company to operate its MK27 unmanned aircraft for package deliveries, the federal agency said in a statement.
On the same day, Amazon (AMZN) announced it will begin delivering packages to customers by drone “within months” at its artificial intelligence, robotics and space conference re:Mars in Las Vegas. Amazon’s certificate is valid for one year and is eligible for renewal, according to the FAA.
“We’ve been hard at work building fully electric drones that can fly up to 15 miles and deliver packages under five pounds to customers in less than 30 minutes. And, with the help of our world-class fulfillment and delivery network, we expect to scale Prime Air both quickly and efficiently, delivering packages via drone to customers within months,” Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon Worldwide Consumer, said on Wednesday.
The e-commerce giant showcased the latest design of its flying device, highlighting its safety features and ability to do vertical takeoffs and landings at the conference.
Jeff Bezos, the company’s founder and CEO, had predicted on CBS’ “60 Minutes” in December 2013 that drones would be making deliveries within five years. Now, a little behind his original schedule, Amazon is the second company to get FAA approval for drone delivery, following Alphabet's Wing Aviation in April. Alphabet’s Wing plans to use drones for food delivery. Uber has also been testing drones in its UberEats unit to achieve fast delivery.