Amazon unveils plan to deliver packages by drone in UK

Amazon has announced it will start using drones to deliver parcels in the UK.

The online retail giant said the service would start in one location which is yet to be revealed, at the end of 2024.

The company already offers drone deliveries in two US states for goods weighing no more than 5lbs (2.2kg).

The aviation regulator said “exploring” how drones could be safely used in more of the UK’s airspace was “key”.

Amazon said it was working closely with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to meet regulations, while the government said the move would help it understand “how to best use the new technology safely and securely”.

David Carbon, vice president of Amazon Prime Air, said he believed there was demand for the technology in the UK and that it was “absolutely safe”.

“It’s hundreds of times safer than driving to the store,” he told the BBC in an interview in Seattle.

“I’ve never heard anyone say they wouldn’t want something faster.”

Customers will be able to choose from thousands of items which weigh 5lbs or less, from washing up liquid and toothbrushes, to beauty products and batteries to fill a “shoe-box size package”.

“What our customers will do is jump on to the Amazon website, they’ll select drone delivery if it’s available in their area, they’ll order their product….and that will then set off the chain of events that goes to our ground system that finds the customer’s yard, drops package off where they asked it, and we’re out of there,” Mr Carbon said.

The first area in the UK for deliveries by air will be named in the coming months.

The company currently has drone postage in California and Texas and is also looking to launch so-called “ultra-fast” deliveries in a third US state and in Italy.

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