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Amazon to trial drones for delivery with support from Government and CAA

Amazon has today announced a partnership with the UK Government to explore the steps needed to make the delivery of parcels by small drones a reality, allowing Amazon to trial new methods of testing its delivery systems.

A cross-Government team supported by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has provided Amazon with permissions to explore three key innovations. These include beyond line of sight operations in rural and suburban areas, testing sensor performance to make sure the drones can identify and avoid obstacles, and flights where one person operates multiple highly-automated drones.

Amazon and the Government will also aim to understand what operating rules and safety regulations will be needed to help move the drone industry forward as there are currently no regulations to cover deliveries by UAVs.

As the UK’s aviation safety regulator, the CAA will be fully involved in the work to explore the potential for safe use of drones beyond line of sight. The outcomes of these tests will help inform the development of future policy and regulation in this area.

“This is an exemption from those regulations for Amazon to do the testing in a very specific, very controlled, overseen way,” said a CAA spokesperson. “Drones have an amazing future and could well become a major sector in terms of the world aviation industry.

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