Package-delivery drones won’t really gel until around 2020, aviation authorities, advisers say.
Amazon.com Inc. and others have been touting plans to use drones to deliver packages to consumers, but safety experts and federal documents indicate widespread flights aren’t likely before the next decade.
U.S. aviation authorities only recently kicked off the formal process of defining the types of collision-avoidance systems considered essential for such operations to receive broad regulatory authorization. Drafting the technical standards is projected to take three or four years, envisioning a suite of ground-based and airborne sensors that haven’t yet been developed.
Even strong proponents of unmanned aerial vehicles predict that delivering packages to individual customers probably won’t gain significant momentum until at least roughly 2020. Read more