Package deliveries via drone are likely to be common in the U.S. in five years’ time, according to Jim Williams, the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) recently retired manager of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) integration.
An article from the Washington Post says Williams discussed UAS at a recent event sponsored by law firm McKenna Long & Aldridge and noted that this type of delivery system will be “fairly routine.”
Amazon Prime Air, he said, although it is “motivated” and “well-funded,” is up for a “big challenge” if it expects to offer its service anywhere outside of a rural area, including cities such as Washington, D.C., where helicopter or airplane paths may pose a problem.
Once Amazon determines how to safely operate UAS in the same airspace as these manned aircraft, “I think it’ll happen,” Williams said. “There’s no other reason, no other barrier to doing that.”
Earlier this year, Amazon was granted a Section 333 exemption from the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct operations of its multi-rotor UAS for testing and research.
The full Washington Post report can be found here.