Amazon Prime Air has received its "air carrier" designation from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), allowing Amazon to begin drone delivery trials in the U.S. It is an important step forward for Amazon, which has been developing its drone program for years. Its ambitions for drone delivery are big – an Amazon vice president spoke of an autonomous drone service that would one day deliver orders to customers around the world. But the online retailer is likely many years away from achieving that vision. It is probably at least a few years away from creating a true commercial drone delivery service just in the U.S., since the FAA has yet to define rules surrounding commercial drone delivery beyond the testing phase.
Amazon is not the first drone operator to receive FAA approval. Alphabet subsidiary Wing and UPS are also operating FAA-approved trials.