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Ex-Boeing Exec to Lead Amazon Drone Delivery Biz

By Rich Smith - Mar 30, 2020 at 6:04PM

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David Carbon will spearhead the effort to turn drone delivery from concept into reality.

For years, Amazon (AMZN -1.44%) has been mulling the best way to deliver its packages by drone. Now, the company is bringing in an outside executive from Boeing to make it happen.

As CNET reports (and LinkedIn confirms) today, Amazon this month hired ex-Boeing 787 program vice president David Carbon to serve as its vice president in charge of Prime Air, "Amazon's future drone delivery system designed to safely transport packages to customers in 30 minutes or less." At Amazon, Carbon will lead a team of "aviation, robotics, hardware, software and manufacturing experts in the development of Prime Air vehicles, systems and operations" working to make drone delivery a reality.  

Cartoon drone carrying a box

Image source: Getty Images.

Carbon succeeds Amazon's Gur Kimchi, who ran the Prime Air business for the past seven years.

In a statement, Amazon noted that Carbon "has over 20 years of experience bringing ground-breaking aerospace innovations to scale safely and reliably" and will now use this experience "to lead the next phase of our mission to bring 30 minute delivery by drones to customers."

Amazon made its first successful package delivery by drone in 2016 -- but that was in England. Here in the U.S., the Federal Aviation Administration has been slower to grant approvals. The agency only just recently began approving applications to begin making such deliveries, and Amazon currently only has permission to "test" its deliveries here. If and when regulations permit, however, Amazon will want to jump at the opportunity.  

Small packages delivered by drone can cost as little as $0.05 per mile delivered -- one-thirtieth the cost of delivering the same package by truck.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Rich Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon and recommends the following options: short January 2022 $1940 calls on Amazon and long January 2022 $1920 calls on Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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