3 Dec 2013

Delivery drones being tested by Amazon

5:14 am on 3 December 2013

Online retailer Amazon is testing unmanned drones to deliver goods to customers.

Chief executive Jeff Bezos, said the drones could deliver packages weighing up to 2.3kg to customers within 30 minutes of them placing the order.

However, he added that it could take up to five years for the service to start.

The drones are called Octocopters and the service will be called Prime Air.

The United States Federal Aviation Administration is yet to approve the use of unmanned drones for civilian purposes.

"I know this looks like science fiction, but it's not," Mr Bezos told the 60 Minutes programme on CBS.

The BBC reports Amazon also posted a video on its website showing a drone picking up a package from one of its warehouses and delivering it to the doorstep of a customer's house.

The FAA has approved the use of drones for police and government agencies, issuing about 1400 permits over the past several years.

Civilian air space is expected to be opened to all kinds of drones in the United States by 2015 and in Europe by 2016.