Amazon's Drone Delivery Service Illegal in the US

Legal Compliance Resource
December 11, 2013 — 1,715 views  

You cannot escape from the fact that Jeff Bezos is the one of the most innovative entrepreneurs. It was his idea of opening an online business which began its operation from his garage 18 years back and look where it has reached now. In the same way, he has come up with a new idea again, this time it’s a drone delivery service which can act as substitute for humans to deliver light goods to the doorstep of the customer.

He has called this service Prime Air. Here, a small plastic container containing your ordered item is fixed underneath the drone known as the ‘octocopter’ which automatically delivers the item to your house.

Challenges Faced by Amazon

The biggest challenge that Bezos is facing now is the fact that drones are illegal in the biggest market and the home of Amazon- the United States. These drones cannot be used for commercial purpose in the United States until 2015 as per the rules and regulations brought in by the Federal Aviation Administration which oversees all the aspects of the American civil aviation. These laws are so strictly followed that a promotional video, which was made for its campaign, had to be shot outside the United States. With the kind of attitude shown by the US officials it doesn't look like a possibility, at least in the near future. However, Bezos feels that once it becomes popular and successful in countries like Canada, the US will quickly adopt it to gain the advantage.

Pros and Cons of Drone Delivery Service

The idea of a drone delivering your parcel seems to be something out of a science-fiction movie, but has US officials apprehensive. Given below are the advantages and disadvantages of these drones:


  • Cost savings for the company in the long run as they will be able to save the salary that they would have had to pay to the delivery boys.
  • These drones will definitely be quicker than the traditional way of delivering as there is no traffic on air. This will save the company a lot of time.
  • These drones can also be easily tracked and you can keep a watch on their flight path.
  • They can also be controlled by humans, so as to increase the safety aspect.


  • These drones may lose control in some exceptional case and may cause danger to humans.
  • Placing a camera on the drones may lead to privacy concerns.

Only time will tell whether this master stroke played by Bezos will yield any positive results or not.

Legal Compliance Resource