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New FAA rules will change how last mile delivery gets done in the U.S.

By Dr. Robert L. Gordon | 08/31/2016 | 2:27 PM


Last week, New Zealand made the first commercial pizza delivery by drone,  and this week Mark Zuckerberg made a gift of a drone to the Pope.   I can only imagine these drone headlines have made Amazon pretty mad since they have been working on delivery drones for a while, and the reason for the delay rests squarely upon the shoulders of the FAA.  Although I recognize that there are some privacy issues with drones zipping around in my airspace, one needs to accept that the world is a changing and looking the other way is not going to change it. 

At 12:01 am EDT on August 29, 2016, the FAA got around to releasing the new rules governing drones.  The new small UAS Rule (Part 107) including all pilot and operating rules went into effect.  Although the rules are simpler (and clearer in my opinion), there are still going to be some people that are unhappy.  One major shift has been that the FAA has moved away from requiring a full pilots license to operate a drone.  This change opens up the field for drone operations.  Some might not be happy about this, but the US Airforce is anticipating a pilot shortage, so I was not sure where the FAA was thinking all these pilots were going to appear.  I do agree that drone pilots need to have some training and be able to handle their equipment.  I feel that requiring a drone to be in line of sight is prudent, but Tesla owners can remotely order their car’s to meet them without being in line of sight, so I am not sure how that is ok, but a drone is not.  I am sure that this aspect will have some more discussion shortly.

However, what is important to understand is that the FAA has allowed for expanded drone (UAV) usage in the U.S., and there is not putting the genie back in the bottle.  We can expect to see more startups that leverage drone technology for many different uses.  One can expect to see more drones buzzing around making deliveries to neighborhoods in the near future.



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About Dr. Robert Lee Gordon

Dr. Robert Lee Gordon

Dr. Robert Lee Gordon is program director of the Reverse Logistics department at American Public University. Dr. Gordon has over twenty-five years of professional experience in supply chain management and human resources. He holds a Doctorate of Management and Organizational Leadership and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, as well earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from UCLA. Dr. Gordon has spent more than 14 years teaching reverse logistics, transportation, project management, and human resources. He has published articles on reverse logistics; supply chain management; project management; human resources; education, and complexity. He has also published four books on Reverse Logistics Management; Complexity and Project Management; Virtual Project Management Organizations, and Successful Program Management..

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