Amazon will relaunch its delivery drones in the UK next year, the shopping giant has confirmed.
The company said it will start using the unmanned, airborne vehicles to distribute goods from some of its same-day delivery points – one of which will be in the UK.
No location has yet been revealed.
It is part of the expansion of the drones within the retail side of the company, which will also be rolled out in Italy and a third state in the United States, on top of California and Texas, where the drones are already operating.
The company previously trialled an early version of the Prime Air delivery system in Cambridgeshire in 2016.
However, Amazon said it will no longer use the standalone centers and will instead integrate the drones into its existing network.
A statement from the company said: “As part of our continued efforts to innovate for customers, we are pleased to announce the expansion of Prime Air delivery internationally, for the first time outside of the United States.
“We have been delivering packages by drone for almost a year in California and in Texas.
“We have built a safe, reliable delivery service and have worked very closely with regulators and communities.
“We will continue that collaboration into the future to ensure we meet the needs of our customers and the communities we serve.”
It added that it has been working with the government and aviation authorities to reintroduce the drones into UK airspace.
Amazon unveiled the latest drone it will use for deliveries, known as the MK30. It said it is quieter and can fly twice as far and in more diverse weather.
Aviation Secretary Baroness Vere said: “Amazon’s announcement today is a fantastic example of government and industry coming together to achieve our shared vision of commercial drones being commonplace in the UK by 2030.
“Not only will this help boost the economy and give consumers even more choice, while helping to keep the environment clean with zero-emission technology, but it will also build our understanding of how best to use the new technology safely and safe.”
Frederic Laugere, head of innovation advisory services at the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), said: “Exploring the possibilities of how drones can be safely and successfully incorporated into more of the UK’s airspace is key.
“It is vital that projects like this take place to contribute to the overall body of knowledge and experience that will soon enable drones to operate beyond their pilot’s line of sight on a daily basis, while still allowing for safe and fair use off the air by other users.”