Amazon is launching ultra-fast drone deliveries for UK customers from late 2024.

MK30 drone

The new MK30 drone will be deployed to make deliveries in 60 minutes or less

The Prime Air drone delivery is already available in Lockeford, California, and College Station, Texas, and delivers packages in 30 minutes or less.

The tech giant will be expanding drone deliveries to the UK, Italy and a third US city next year, and has committed to delivering to these areas in 60 minutes or less. 

Amazon is aiming to deliver 500 million packages by the end of the decade for customers in highly populated, dense suburban areas. 

Amazon has been using its MK27 drones to deliver packages of 5lbs (2.3kg) or less in the US since December 2022. Prime Air vice president David Carbon said “thousands” of deliveries have been completed using this method.

The first location to receive drone deliveries in the UK will be revealed “in the coming months” and Carbon said orders will be fulfilled from one of Amazon’s 30 depots around the country.

He added there was a “mapped out plan” to open more facilities in the future. 

Prime Air will use the new MK30 drone to make deliveries in the UK. These drones are 40% quieter than MK27s, can operate in light rain and light winds, and will travel distances of up to 12km.

It is not known how much drone deliveries cost the company to fulfil but Amazon Prime customers will face no extra costs if they wish to use the service and can choose drone delivery during checkout.

Carbon said: “As part of our continued efforts to innovate for customers, we are excited to announce the expansion of Prime Air delivery internationally, for the first time outside the US

“We have been delivering packages by drone for almost a year in California and Texas. We have built a safe, reliable delivery service and have partnered very closely with regulators and communities. 

“We will continue with that collaboration into the future to ensure we are meeting the needs of our customers and the communities we serve.”

Amazon is working closely with national and international regulators to develop a “safe and scalable service”.

UK Civil Aviation Authority head of innovation advisory services Frederic Laugere said: “Exploring the options of how drones can be safely and successfully incorporated into more of the UK’s airspace is key.

“It is vital that projects such as this take place to feed into the overall knowledge and experiences that will soon enable drones to be operating beyond the line of sight of their pilot on a day-to-day basis, while also still allowing safe and equitable use of the air by other users.”