Amazon drone delivery service looking at College Station for a test run

Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 10:43 PM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - A new Amazon delivery service could be coming to College Station.

Amazon presented a proposal to the planning and zoning commission on Thursday, who approved a change to the R&D Research and Development property located at 400 Technology Pkwy. This would allow a small-scale aerial distribution center to be built if approved by City Council.

With Amazon Prime, customers are familiar with seeing deliveries within a day. With Amazon Prime Air, customers can expect a package delivery via drone within 30 minutes of ordering.

According to Amazon, customers will place an order as they normally would and receive an estimated arrival time with a status tracker for their order. For these deliveries, the drone will fly to the designated delivery location, descend to the customer’s backyard, and hover at a safe height. It will then safely release the package and rise back up to altitude.

The approved Planned Development District covers 6.74 acres. Amazon Prime Air deliveries would be available to customers within a four-mile radius.

Very few communities have seen this delivery technology used, something Texas A&M leaders are excited about.

“We’re gonna be only one of two places in the United States that are going to design this delivery system and refine this delivery system for the rest of the country and possibly the rest of the world,” Texas A&M Chancellor, John Sharp, said.

Residents of subdivisions surrounding the proposed property shared concerns of air rights, safety, and noise.

11-year-old Monica Williams told the commission she is concerned that this will affect her when she plays in her yard.

“I live less than a mile away, I’m concerned about the noise and I love going out there and I don’t want any of that to change,” she said.

Sharp says partnering with A&M allows innovation in the future of drones.

“All the problems that people mentioned, the noise that they’re concerned with, that’s what we want to solve. I mean we have some students in aerospace that have designed a helicopter rotor blade that cuts the noise by 50%,” Sharp said. “Drones are nothing new to us I mean we use them in agriculture, we use them at the RELLIS Campus, we’ve got drones flying all over this place and people don’t know about it. So I think this is a very exciting thing for College Station and Texas A&M and the A&M System because just as we’re leading the nation in hypersonics and so many other things, we’re gonna lead the nation in this.”

The proposal was sent to City Council for consideration in their July 14 meeting.

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