Amazon Prime Air

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Amazon Prime Air
Amazon Prime Air Logo.jpg
IATA ICAO Callsign
- - -
Founded 2016; 1 year ago (2016)
Fleet size 32
Parent company Amazon
Headquarters Seattle, WA

Amazon Prime Air is a cargo airline that contracts through Air Transport International, ABX Air, and Atlas Air, as well as a conceptual drone-based delivery system currently in development by Amazon. The cargo side is based at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in Hebron, Kentucky, near Cincinnati, Ohio. The hub began operations on April 30, 2017 and will quickly expand under a $1.49-billion expansion plan with 40 Boeing 767-300F's and 200 daily takeoff and landings.

Cargo Development[edit]

Amazon One

On January 31, 2017, Amazon announced that Amazon Prime Air would make Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport its principal hub with flights that began on April 30, 2017. Amazon received $40 million in tax incentives and plans to begin construction on a 920-acre facility with a 3 million sq-ft sorting facility and parking space for 100 cargo aircraft. Amazon initially plans to base 40 Boeing 767-300F aircraft at CVG to operate 200 daily takeoff and landing across the U.S. and internationally. All together, the hub will create 2,700 jobs in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area,[1] the aircraft will be operated by a combination of crews from ABX Air, Air Transport International and Atlas Air, who are currently receiving freighter conversions.


Amazon Prime Air flies scheduled flights to the following destinations:

Hubs/Focus Cities
Future Destinations
Terminated Destinations
City State IATA Airport Start Date Notes
Allentown Pennsylvania ABE Lehigh Valley International Airport 2016
Baltimore Maryland BWI Baltimore–Washington International Airport 2016
Charlotte North Carolina CLT Charlotte Douglas International Airport 2016
Chicago Illinois RFD Chicago Rockford International Airport 2016
Cincinnati Kentucky CVG Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport 2017
Dallas/Fort Worth Texas DFW Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport 2016
Houston Texas IAH George Bush Intercontinental Airport 2017
Miami Florida MIA Miami International Airport 2017
Ontario California ONT Ontario International Airport 2016
Phoenix Arizona PHX Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport 2016
Portland Oregon PDX Portland International Airport 2017
Providence Rhode Island PVD T. F. Green Airport 2017
San Antonio Texas SKF Lackland Air Force Base 2017
Sacramento California SMF Sacramento International Airport 2017
Seattle/Tacoma Washington SEA Seattle–Tacoma International Airport 2016
Stockton California SCK Stockton Metropolitan Airport 2016
Tampa Florida TPA Tampa International Airport 2016
Wilmington Ohio ILN Airborne Airpark 2016 ended April 30, 2017


Amazon Air has a fleet that entirely comprises Boeing 767 aircraft, all on lease from Atlas Air, ABX Air, and Air Transport International. The first aircraft were delivered in May 2016, with more on order.[2]

Aircraft In fleet Orders Notes
Boeing 767-200SF 12 0 6 operated by Air Transport International and 6 operated by ABX Air
Boeing 767-300BCF 12 8 12 operated by Atlas Air, with 8 under conversion to be operated by Atlas Air
Boeing 767-300SF 8 0 8 operated by Air Transport International

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)[edit]


On December 1, 2013, CEO Jeff Bezos revealed plans for Amazon Prime Air in an interview on 60 Minutes. Amazon Prime Air is planned to use multirotor Miniature Unmanned Air Vehicle (Miniature UAV),technology to autonomously fly individual packages to customers within 30 minutes of ordering.[3] To qualify for 30 minute delivery, the order must be less than 5 pounds (2.25 kg), must be small enough to fit in the cargo box that the craft will carry, and must have a delivery location within a 10-mile (16 km) radius of a participating Amazon order fulfillment center.[3]

United States regulations and testing under waiver program[edit]

In the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, Congress issued the Federal Aviation Administration a deadline of September 30, 2015 to accomplish a "safe integration of civil unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace system."[4] In August 2016 commercial use of UAV technology was legalized by the United States Congress.[5]

In March 2015, the FAA granted Amazon permission to begin U.S. testing of a prototype under a waiver to the then regulations. Amazon reported that the vehicle cleared for use was obsolete; in April 2015, the FAA allowed Amazon to begin testing current models. In the interim, Amazon had begun testing at a Canadian site close to the United States border.[6]

Current U.S. regulations required drones fly no higher than 400 ft (122 m), no faster than 100 mph (161 km/h), and remain within the pilot's line of sight. Amazon has stated it intends to move towards operating above 200 ft (61 m) and beneath 500 ft (152 m), with 500 ft. Amazon has stated it plans to fly drones weighing a up to 55 lb (25 kg) within a 10 mi (16 km) radius of its warehouses, at speeds of up to 50 mph (80.5 km/h) with packages weighing up to 5 lb (2.26 kg) in tow.[6]

Delivery deployment development[edit]

Amazon has patented a beehive-like structure to house delivery drones in cities, allowing Amazon to move from large single-story warehouses that temporarily store packages before they are shipped.[7]

Fulfillment centres designed to accommodate drone deliveries and operations within a certain radius, are currently required, this was announced in a video released by Amazon[8]. On December 15, 2016, Amazon began its first publicly available trial of Amazon Prime Air to those within several miles of Amazon's depot in Cambridge, England.

First deliveries[edit]

On December 7, 2016, Amazon successfully delivered a Prime Air parcel to Cambridge, England. Amazon had built a Prime Air fulfillment center in the Cambridge area. Amazon posted a video on their official YouTube channel, on December 14, 2016 of the delivery.[8]

Internet connection and information storage[edit]

Amazon Prime Air drones will be connected to the internet to allow for flight control management, and communication between drones,[9] it has been reported by Brookings that Amazon's data collection usage from drones has not been disclosed.[10] The Pittsburgh Journal of Technology Law and Policy, have reported proposed data collection from Amazon Prime Air drones as including; automated object detection, GPS surveillance, gigapixel cameras, and enhanced image resolution.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Amazon to create $1.5B air hub at CVG". Retrieved 1 February 2017. 
  2. ^ "Prime Air Fleet". Plane Spotters. 
  3. ^ a b "Amazon Unveils Futuristic Plan: Delivery by Drone". CBS News. 1 December 2013. Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  4. ^ "FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012" (PDF). 14 February 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  5. ^ Chandran, Nyshka (29 August 2016). "FAA's new drone laws go into effect Monday, allowing US companies to innovate". Retrieved 23 July 2017. 
  6. ^ a b Lavars, Nick (April 12, 2015). "Amazon to begin testing new delivery drones in the US". Gizmag. Retrieved April 12, 2015. 
  7. ^ Sam Levin (26 June 2016). "Amazon patents beehive-like structure to house delivery drones in cities". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 July 2017. 
  8. ^ a b amazon (2016-12-14), Amazon Prime Air’s First Customer Delivery, retrieved 2016-12-15 
  9. ^ Mac, Ryan (28 July 2015). "Amazon Proposes Drone Highway As It Readies For Flying Package Delivery". Forbes. 
  10. ^ Singer, Peter W. (8 March 2013). "The Predator Comes Home: A Primer on Domestic Drones, their Huge Business Opportunities, and their Deep Political, Moral, and Legal Challenges". Brookings. 
  11. ^ Schlag, Chris (30 May 2013). "The New Privacy Battle: How the Expanding Use of Drones Continues to Erode Our Concept of Privacy and Privacy Rights". Pittsburgh Journal of Technology Law and Policy. 13 (2). doi:10.5195/tlp.2013.123. 

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