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Amazon Will Use Drones to Deliver Packages near San Francisco

Amazon said that after receiving approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Lockeford officials, it would launch its drone delivery service in Lockeford and build it based on customer feedback. Amazon said it has already been working with the FAA and has acquired an air carrier certificate.

Lockeford is a rural town about 100 miles east of San Francisco, with an estimated population of about 3,500 people.


According to Amazon, Lockeford residents will soon be able to sign up for drone deliveries for free. After, they can place orders on Amazon like usual, with "thousands of everyday items" available for drone delivery. Amazon has been working with a goal of a five-pound (2.25kg) payload, which may sound small but represents 85% of Amazon deliveries. For comparison, Walmart's drone delivery service can carry up to three pounds, and Alphabet's Wing can carry 2.5 lbs.

After placing an order for a delivery drone, the customers will get an estimated time arrival and status tracker, Amazon said. The company did not make a promise on delivery time but is aiming for under 60 minutes. For these deliveries, the drone will fly to the designated delivery location, descend to the customer's backyard, and hover at a safe height, it will then safely release the package and rise back up to altitude.