Amazon testing drone delivery technology in B.C.
Online shopping giant Amazon has confirmed it's testing delivery drones at a secret location in Canada.
Spokeswoman Kristen Kish said the company has set up several testing sites outside the U.S., including one in rural B.C., to avoid the strict rules set by the Federal Aviation Authority.
Amazon declined to give any further details.
Transport Canada told CTV News it issued a one-year drone operating certificate to the online retailer in December 2014, with restrictions in place to ensure public safety.
The Special Flight Operations Certificate details “maximum altitudes, minimum distances from people and property, operating areas, and coordination requirements with air traffic services” for Amazon’s testing, the agency said in an email.
Amazon has boasted its pending drone delivery system, dubbed Prime Air, will eventually be capable of getting packages to customers’ homes in 30 minutes or less.
That will be accomplished with drones capable of travelling more than 80 kilometres an hour while lugging packages weighing more than two kilograms, which covers 86 per cent of the products Amazon sells, according to the company.
A message on the Amazon website reads that though the concept may sound like science fiction, drone delivery service is coming.
“One day, seeing Prime Air vehicles will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road,” it reads.
Transport Canada said it has had regulations in place for unmanned aerial vehicles since 1996, and that their use has been growing rapidly in recent years.
It issued 1,672 certificates for drones in 2014, up from just 66 five years ago.
With files from The Canadian Press