Amazon Ends its Drone Delivery Service in California

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Key Takeaways

  • Amazon announced the end to drone delivery offering in Lockeford, California.
  • The tech giant’s other existing site in College Station, Texas will operate as normal.
  • A new site in the Phoenix area will start service later this year

Amazon has ended its Prime Air drone delivery service in Lockeford, California, as the company rethinks its autonomous operations.

Amazon detailed the changes in an announcement. The site in the 3,500-person town of Lockeford is closing, while its facility in College Station, Texas will continue with deliveries. 

The e-commerce giant did not expand on reasons for closing the Lockeford site, but stated it would offer all current employees alternate opportunities at other locations. It would serve customers in California through different delivery methods.

Amazon is still committed to new drone options. College Station will now by joined by the West Valley of the Phoenix metro area, with that demographic served by Amazon’s current same-day delivery plant in Tolleson. 

A new hybrid part-fulfillment, part-delivery facility will be constructed next door to the main site, with the drones set to fly to customer’s homes later this year. Amazon believed this enhancement of its service will achieve greater productivity and faster deliveries.

An exact timescale for the Arizona launch is still to be confirmed, subject to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and local authority approval. 

In Phoenix, Mayor Kate Gallego is an advocate for the service after she described drone deliveries as “the future.” She claimed the venture would help her city “reduce local pollution” and increase its credentials “as a hotbed for the innovative technology of tomorrow.”

Regulatory issues have proven to be an obstacle in the way of rapid proliferation for Amazon’s drone projects, with the rollout proving to be quite slow. Tolleson appears to be the only expansion planned for the rest of 2024, with drone delivery still in its fledgling stage.