Amazon has given the tiny town of Lockeford, just east of Lodi, nationwide attention after announcing it will be the testing ground for Prime Air. The company is hoping to test out their delivery drones before the end of the year.
Lockeford, with a population of about 3,500, is mostly rural, flat, and ideal for delivering packages by air.
Amazon’s Natalie Banke says the local support is in place.
“We have some delivery stations, a fulfillment center, and Amazon Air,” she said. “So, when choosing a location, picking Lockeford was a natural next step for us.”
Banke says customers who sign up won’t be disappointed.
“Right now, the fastest speed our customers in the area can receive packages is within two days, but with the launch of Prime Air, they’ll now be able to get packages in under an hour,” she said.
Lockeford native Art Prieto likes that idea.
“One hour, I’d like to see that,” he said, laughing.
Janet Baltzer also sees the service as a plus.
“I think it’s actually good for our community, so I think it’s going to be a wonderful thing,” she said.
She’s not worried about them flying overhead.
“From what I understand, they’ll be flying over roads, not over people’s properties,” she said.
But James Mitchell has some doubts.
“It’s unusual, not something we’re used to,” he said. “[I] think it will take some adjusting; don’t think it’s safe for the environment at all.”
Amazon has yet to work out with the Federal Aviation Administration how to conduct deliveries. Banke is optimistic and says Lockeford customers will be the pioneers for worldwide delivery.
“They’re going to be part of defining the filter of drone delivery and it’s a really exciting time,” she said.
As for deliveries, customers should think small: 5 pounds or less and about the size of a shoe box.
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