Amazon ceases drone deliveries in California, expands to Arizona


Amazon is stopping its Prime Air drone deliveries in California after two years of operations. 

The retail giant disclosed little as to why operations are being halted. In a blog post, it said as it prioritises resources and looks to grow the programme the decision was made to close its Lockeford, California delivery site. Amazon also confirmed it will offer all current employees opportunities at other sites, and will continue to serve customers in Lockeford with other delivery methods. Lockeford was one of the earliest testbeds for Amazon’s drone deliveries, allowing locals to order small packages and have them delivered in half an hour or less.

“We want to thank the community for all their support and feedback over the past few years. We’ll continue delivering in College Station, Texas, and will open further US locations in 2025,” said Amazon.

The shift to Arizona will see Amazon commence drone deliveries later this year in the West Valley of the Phoenix Metro Area. The firm said it is working with the FAA and local officials in Tolleson to obtain all necessary permissions to conduct deliveries in the West Valley area.

Juan F. Rodriguez, mayor of Tolleson said: “As Amazon embarks on the national expansion of its Amazon Drone Delivery Program, we’re proud to have their innovative presence in our community. By bringing this service to new communities, they’re not just delivering goods; they’re delivering opportunities and economic growth for all. Amazon’s commitment to innovation exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit that drives our city forward.”

Amazon also announced its MK30 drone is currently undergoing flight testing after it was unveiled last year. The new model is designed to be smaller and quieter than previous iterations and can fly through light rain. It also uses “sense and avoid” technology that enables it to detect and avoid obstacles such as people and pets. It is also quieter and can fly twice as far as Amazon’s current drone.