Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s Amazon bringing you that pair of underwear you ordered!

In one small step for man, (› Play Audio) and one slightly bigger step for Amazon, the Seattle-based online retailer giant is putting its money where its mouth is, teaming up with other drone makers to lobby lawmakers on the company’s plan to one day use small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to deliver goods straight to customers’ doorsteps.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos first broached the idea publicly during an appearance last year on 60 Minutes. The concept, frankly, seemed like science fiction to many Americans who could not picture a small flying device dropping off stuff on their front porch.


Now, according to a post in USA Today, Amazon has announced it’s taking a concrete step to convince the government that drone-deliveries will soon be the real deal:


“Amazon Prime Air is participating in several groups … that share Congress’ goal of getting small UAVs flying commercially in the United States safely and soon,” said Paul Misener, the company’s vice president of global public policy.



Amazon, apparently, is getting just as frustrated as other companies are with the federal government’s slow plodding as it tries to decide how to  regulate a brand new transportation-and-delivery system that’s practically chomping at the bit to be set free across this great land of ours. As USA Today points out, the problem with regulating the use of private and corporate drones over America’s skies is that it’s tough to know which agency should really be in charge in the first place:

Such efforts are needed because the advance of commercial drones covers a swath of federal agencies including the Federal Aviation Administration, which governs airspace, and the Federal Communications Commission, with oversight of communications frequencies drones would use. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy also has rules in the works regarding privacy.

“This is uncharted territory,” says Chris Anderson, co-founder of drone maker 3D Robotics. His firm joined Amazon, DJI Innovations and Parrot in founding the coalition. The group aims to represent commercial uses of drones, establish a code of conduct and educate the public about benefits of the technology, he says.

Congress has charged the FAA with developing rules to test and integrate dronesinto the airspace. But a report that Transportation Department Inspector General Calvin Scovel delivered to Congress in February said the FAA will unlikely meet a September 2015 deadline set by Congress.

Credit: AFP/Getty Images


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  • David

    This is a really cool idea. But I wonder if just like in the days of the Old West and the Pony Express those little flying drones will become targets for thieves to shoot down. Perhaps the drones can fly high enough to avoid being a target. I would imagine they will have a security camera to monitor all activity. Overall, I think it’s a great idea.

    • alrui

      I think I’ll just shoot em down for pain ole target practice!