Amazon drone package delivery in 2024!

Amazon drone package delivery in 2024!
Man pushes Amazon MK30 delivery drone through warehouse. Image: Courtesy of Amazon

Just five years ago on April 1, 2019, Amazon put out a video of a blimp releasing a bunch of drones, some of which were carrying packages. It was clear at the time that this was an April Fools Day joke. Now it appears that joke is a reality. Services LLC has registered 178 individual drone aircraft with the FAA, with 29 having been registered just in the past month. These are autonomous aircraft built and manufactured by Amazon under the names Amazon Services LLC or Amazon Logistics Inc.

FAA lists some of the Amazon delivery drones and their N-Number, serial number, model number, etc

With drone aircraft registrations taking place with the FAA, I would guess that this program is further along than basic testing. After looking at the Amazon careers page for keyword drone, I found that there are a handful of openings in Pendleton, Oregon. Looking at the map of the area, there isn't anything noteworth that stands out as a major drone facility, but I did find a link to a UAS Range that operates out of the Pendleton Airport, a likely candidate for the testing phase of this flight program.

Per this Amazon Drone Delivery FAQs page, there are actual deliveries taking place in two US locations - Lockeford, CA and College Station, TX. Lockeford was chosen out of insistence by the FAA and due to proximity to an Amazon hub, per this article from Oregon Public Broadcasting. If you live in one of these rollout areas, you can elect to have drone delivery but only after your property has been surveyed and have enrolled in the drone program.

Amazon has also actively published articles about the progress of this flight program. In these links you can see photos of- and hear differences of- these MK27 and MK30 drone aircraft.

Amazon reveals the new design for Prime Air’s delivery drone—here’s your first look
Amazon’s new delivery drone will have increased range, expanded temperature tolerance, and the capability to fly in light rain, enabling customers to choose drone delivery more often.
11 photos of Amazon’s new Prime Air drone that can fly in light rain and deliver packages up to 5 pounds in under an hour
The newest Prime Air drones will deliver to customers in three U.S. locations as well as cities in Italy and the UK by the end of 2024.

Here's a breakdown of the fleet as of mid-December 2023. This is all data straight from the FAA. (Below is a link to a google sheet that anyone with the link can view)

Amazon Delivery Drones (FAA)
Amazon Delivery Drones RadarAtlas N-Number,Serial Number,Model,N-Number,Serial Number,Model,N-Number,Serial Number,Model N125PA,374,MK27,N364PA,709,MK27-2,N109PA,1786501001,MK30 N126PA,375,MK27,N381PA,710,MK27-2,N138PA,1786501002,MK30 N134PA,376,MK27,N388PA,711,MK27-2,N139PA,1786501003,MK30 N142…

All this to say, I think drone delivery is right around the corner. If the FAA is allowing these drones to be registered with airworthiness certificates, it's safe to say we can see these outside of California and Texas before we know it.