- The Washington Times - Monday, December 2, 2013

The chief executive of Amazon.com says drones will be doing much of the company’s product deliveries within the next five years — and that customers can expect some packages to arrive within 30 minutes of processing.

Jeff Bezos said in an interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes” that his company already had the technology and had even tried a test flight or two. What they’re waiting on now is Federal Aviation Administration approval.

“The hard part here is putting in all the redundancy, all the reliability, all the systems you need to say, ‘Look, this thing can’t land on somebody’s head while they’re walking around their neighborhood,’ ” he said, NBC reported.

Amazon posted a statement online saying that the big holdup was the FAA.

“Putting Prime Air [drone delivery] into commercial use will take some number of years as we advance technology and wait for the necessary FAA rules and regulations,” the company statement read, NBC reported. But if the FAA had rules in place “as early as sometime in 2015 … we will be ready at that time.”

The company has a video posted on its website of a prototype drone delivery. The company also said, in text by the video: We promise “half-hour delivery, and we can carry objects, we think, up to five pounds, which covers 86 percent of the items that we deliver.”

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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