Amazon drone delivery executive who oversaw safety.
Spread the love

Amazon drone delivery executive who oversaw safety.

An executive at Amazon’s drone delivery unit who was the company’s primary liaison with federal regulators has left the company, has learned.

The company’s director of safety, flight operations, and regulatory affairs, Sean Cassidy, announced his departure last week in an internal note to employees, which was viewed by . In 2015, Amazon hired Cassidy, a former Alaska Airlines pilot and vice president of the world’s largest pilots union, to oversee its drone program’s strategic partnership.

Cassidy wrote in the memo that this was her last day at Prime Air and at Amazon, and she wanted to thank all of her friends and colleagues who had made this nearly nine-year journey so enjoyable.

Cassidy handled Amazon’s relationship with the Federal Aviation Administration in the early days of its ambitious drone delivery program, a pet project of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. In about five years, Bezos predicted that Amazon drones would deliver packages in 30 minutes or less to customers’ doorsteps. Bezos’ vision hasn’t materialized as quickly as he hoped.

There was no immediate response from Amazon regarding Cassidy’s departure.

Amazon received Part 135 certification from the FAA in August 2020, allowing it to use drones to deliver packages, but with restrictions. Earlier this year, Amazon announced that it would begin testing drone deliveries in two small markets in California and Texas.

Prime Air was affected by layoffs in January as part of Amazon’s broader job cuts just as the program appeared set to grow. It has also struggled to meet delivery goals due to regulatory setbacks. Two executives key to the unit’s operations left in August, previously reported.

According to David Carbon, Amazon’s drone delivery head and former Boeing executive, the two test sites will make 10,000 deliveries in 2023.