Amazon has proposed that a specific area of airspace be dedicated to unmanned remote controlled aircraft (drones). At a NASA conference in California, they suggested drones should be allowed to fly at 200 to 400ft (61 to 122m).
Air traffic control for drones would be an automated computer system. A no flyzone would operate between 400ft and 500ft to act as a buffer zone so manned aircraft would never come into contact with drones. No fly zones would also operate around airports.
Gur Kimch of Prime Air says: “The way we guarantee the greatest safety is by requiring that as the level of complexity of the airspace increases, so does the level of sophistication of the vehicle. Under our proposal everybody has to be collaborative – vehicles must be able to talk to each other and avoid each other as the airspace gets denser at low altitudes.”
So are we really going to see the drones thing happen? It does seem so.
And whilst initially the idea of delivery drones did feel like a bit of a gimmick, it’s becoming increasingly clear that some companies are serious about the possibilities. Google has already tested the tech in the Australian outback. Alibaba in China is already trialling a drone delivery service and DHL has used drones to deliver vital medical supplies to an island in the North Sea.