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Bezos: Amazon Delivery Drones Still “Years” Away

Amazon delivery drones are still “years” away, but CEO Jeff Bezos said to Telegraph, that someday they will be “as common as seeing a mail truck.”

Bezos told the Telegraph in London that the biggest hurdle Prime Air has to clear isn’t related to technology, but regulators. He said U.K. regulators have been among the most accommodating to his plans to take Amazon deliveries to the sky.

“U.K. regulatory agencies have been very advanced” and “encouraging,” Bezos said. He added that U.S. regulators are “catching up.” The FAA said in March that it would allow Amazon to test drones.

Last month, Amazon said it wants air space to be designated specifically for commercial drones so it can do speedy deliveries.

The UK could be one of the first places in the world to get Amazon’s high-tech drone deliveries.

The UK could be one of the first places to put Amazon’s plan to deliver goods by drone into practice, CEO Jeff Bezos has suggested.

In a wide-ranging interview with The Telegraph published on Sunday, the 51-year-old entrepreneur praised the UK’s regulatory approach to drones, citing it as a “very encouraging example of good regulation.”

America is far stricter when it comes to regulating unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) than the UK. When Amazon got FAA permission for trials in the US in March 2015, the tech it related to was already obsolete.

Bezos refused to say definitively which countries Amazon’s Prime Air delivery service would launch in first. “What I would say is that in the scheme of things the UK regulatory agencies have been very advanced. The FAA [the US aviation regulator] is catching up a little here in the US, but the UK has been, I’d say, a very encouraging example of good regulation. I think we like what we see there.”

We shouldn’t expect to see drone deliveries in 2015 however. “Months sounds way too aggressive to me,” Bezos said, “so the timescale is measured in years.”