CAMBRIDGESHIRE, UK: December 14, 2016. Amazon has successfully delivered its first Prime Air package by drone to an address in rural Cambridgeshire, England in less than 30 minutes of order placement.
Flown from a test fulfillment center a few miles away, the GPS-guided drone carried a 5lb payload and flew below 400 feet to its delivery location. On this occasion the customer, 'Richard B', ordered an Amazon Fire Stick and a bag of dog treats.
Amazon says its will use the operational data and feedback from its two test customers to expand the trial to "dozens of customers living within several miles of our UK facility".
In July Amazon announced it was partnering with the UK government to explore how to make drone deliveries a logistics business reality.
Supported by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the company has since been testing 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.
"The UK is a leader in enabling drone innovation – we've been investing in Prime Air research and development here for quite some time," said Paul Misener, Amazon's vice president of Global Innovation Policy and Communications.
As the UK's aviation safety regulator, the CAA says the tests will help inform the development of future policy and regulation.
"We want to enable the innovation that arises from the development of drone technology by safely integrating drones into the overall aviation system," said Tim Johnson, CAA Policy director. "These tests by Amazon will help inform our policy and future approach."