At the end of 2013, Amazon announced plans to use drones (UAS) to perform delivery functions for their Amazon Prime Service. People were really excited for this potential delivery method and there was only high hopes as the drone landscape had not been defined yet. However, it looks like Amazon will have have pretty much no way to implement the service as long as the FAA maintains their drone rules and regulations plan.
This past week, the FAA proposed certain rules in the commercial operation of drones that must be discussed and voted on. According to these rules, Amazon has pretty much no way to bring the service to fruition. According to the FAA, to legally operate a drone for commercial purposes, the drones cannot fly over people not involved in the drone operations as well as much be flown by an observer on the ground who can maintain visual contact with the drone. These 2 things pretty much put the nail in the coffin for Amazon Prime Air.
Scott H Robb, Director of the Communications Research Institute (CRI) and author of the Television/Radio Age Communications Coursebook was asked for his views on the efficacy of Drone delivery services. He commented,
“ In light of the announced outlines of federal policies being designed to regulate drone use, clearly the concept of using drones for product deliveries is impractical and infeasible. Stated simply, drone delivery is an idea whose time will never come.”
Mr. Robb also observed, “Clearly, federal policy, which will pre-empt all other state and local regulations, will restrict the size, flight capabilities and operating parameters of all Drones, whether used for commercial or recreational applications.” He predicts that federal operating restrictions will make the general use of Drones for product delivery virtually impossible, noting: “In all conceivable situations, the use of current modes of transportation to deliver products will remain the most practical and efficient.”
What do you think about these new rules and Amazon Prime Air Service? Leave your thoughts in the comments