FAA Approves Amazon Drone Delivery Beyond Visual Line of Sight

Amazon announces the FAA has extended Prime Air permissions that allows it to operate its drones beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS), allowing the company to serve more customers via drone and effectively expand and scale its drone delivery operations. 

In order to obtain this permission, Prime Air developed a BVLOS strategy, including an onboard detect-and-avoid technology. The company spent years developing, testing, and refining its onboard detect-and-avoid system to ensure its drones can detect and avoid obstacles in the air.

Prime Air submitted crucial engineering information to the FAA, including its onboard detect-and-avoid capabilities. This included how its system was designed, how it is operated, how it is maintained, and ultimately how the company validated that the system performs to specified requirements. The company then conducted flight demonstrations in the presence of FAA inspectors to show its system works in real-world scenarios — it flew in the presence of real planes, helicopters, and a hot air balloon to demonstrate how the drone safely navigated away from each of them. It also provided extensive analysis and test data for its technology that further validated the safety of its system. After reviewing this information and observing the technology in action at its test site, the FAA provided Amazon Prime Air with BVLOS approval.

For more information, visit https://www.aboutamazon.com/news/transportation/amazon-drone-prime-air-expanded-delivery-faa-approval.