The Federal Aviation Administration designated Amazon Prime Air an “air carrier,” which allows the tech giant to begin its first commercial deliveries in the U.S. under a trial program, using the high-tech devices it unveiled for that purpose last year, Bloomberg reported.
- Worth Noting: Amazon and its competitors must still clear some imposing regulatory and technical hurdles before small packages can routinely be dropped at people’s homes. But the action shows that they’ve convinced the government they’re ready to operate in the highly regulated aviation sector.
- The future: Amazon joins Wing, the Alphabet subsidiary, and UPS as companies that have gotten FAA approval to operate under the federal regulations governing charter operators and small airlines. Wing, with partners Walgreens and FedEx, has been conducting limited drone deliveries under a similar FAA approval in Virginia since last year.
- Demand for E-commerce is piping hot: The push for more storage space comes as retailers are re-evaluating their logistics networks in the wake of the upheaval during coronavirus-driven shutdowns. Merchants were already moving goods closer to customers, and the pandemic is accelerating those shifts. Some retailers relied heavily on stores to fulfill online orders during the pandemic, while others are looking to build “dark store” fulfillment centers in urban areas and shift away from larger facilities in more remote locations, the Wall Street Journal reported. [Bloomberg+WSJ]