Amazon Ends California Drone Deliveries, Expands to Arizona

Amazon did not disclose details of why operations are closing but confirmed its plans to continue expanding across the U.S. by 2025

Scarlett Evans, Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

April 23, 2024

2 Min Read
Amazon's delivery drone

Amazon is pulling the plug on its Prime Air drone delivery operations in Lockeford, California after two years of operation.

The company disclosed few details about why the Californian operations are closing but said in a blog post that it would offer current employees opportunities at other sites. 

“We want to thank the community for all their support and feedback over the past few years,” the company said. 

Lockeford was one of the earliest testbeds for Amazon’s service. It allows locals to order small packages and have drones deliver them in half an hour or less.

Alongside the announcement, Amazon also said it plans to expand the Prime Air project to West Valley, a region in the Phoenix metropolitan area in Arizona later this year and more U.S. cities by 2025.

Amazon said it is working with the Federal Aviation Administration and local officials in Tolleson, Arizona, to get permission for drone deliveries in the area.

“Once we’ve received all the necessary approvals, we’ll begin reaching out to customers in the West Valley so they can receive drone deliveries when the service goes live later this year,” the company said.

“This kind of delivery is the future, and it’s exciting that it will be starting in the Phoenix Metro Area,” said Kate Gallego, mayor of Phoenix. “The shift toward zero-emission package delivery will help us reduce local pollution and further cement our city as a hotbed for the innovative technology of tomorrow.”

Related:Amazon Starts Drone Prescription Deliveries; Intros New Drone Design

Amazon also announced it is conducting test flights to demonstrate the efficacy of its new delivery drone, the MK30, which it unveiled last year. 

The new model is designed to be smaller and quieter than previous iterations and can fly through light rain. It also uses “sense and avoid” technology that enables it to detect and avoid obstacles including people, pets, and property.

Amazon said the MK30 would replace its other delivery drones currently in operation by the end of this year.

About the Author(s)

Scarlett Evans

Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

Scarlett Evans is the assistant editor for IoT World Today, with a particular focus on robotics and smart city technologies. Scarlett has previous experience in minerals and resources with Mine Australia, Mine Technology and Power Technology. She joined Informa in April 2022.

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