Amazon hiring for Prime Air drone tests

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Drones like this one may one day deliver parcels to doorsteps.
Drones like this one may one day deliver parcels to doorsteps.

The retailer's drone program faces headwinds in the U.S., but in the U.K. it is posting job ads for aviation experts

Amazon is seeking aviation experts and other flight-related workers in the U.K. as it looks to develop its Prime Air drone delivery service there.

The group has posted details of several jobs up for grabs in Cambridge that specifically mention Prime Air and "flight operations." One job ad for a flight operations engineer states: "Amazon Prime Air is looking for a Flight Safety Manager to ensure the safety and professionalism of our flight program."

Job requirements include "performing as the safety observer during Prime Air flight tests, both indoor and outdoor" and "performing safety analyses to ensure our vehicles and operations are safe."

The job listing says that Amazon would prefer flight test experience "manned or unmanned."

Other jobs advertised include a Prime Air software development engineer and project manager.

Amazon's drone program is moving slower in the United States, where it faces myriad questions about widespread drone flights. 

This summer, Amazon asked the Federal Aviation Administration for permission to start testing its drones in U.S. airspace.

In a letter to the FAA, Amazon confirmed it was developing drones capable of traveling at up to 50 miles an hour and carrying packages weighing up to 5 pounds. 

According to a report on TechCrunch, the retailer is looking to expand its research and development operations in Cambridge, where it established a foothold when it acquired speech-technology start-up Evi Technologies two years ago.

As well as developing its drone capabilities, the retailer and tech group is also looking to hire people via Evi Technologies to help develop speech-activated software and hardware, which will ultimately allow consumers to merely speak to buy, download and play music via smart speakers.

Last year, it launched a video on YouTube demonstrating how drone deliveries might work.

A version of this story first appeared on campaignlive.co.uk.

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