Amazon Wants to Use Lampposts, Churches as Drone Docking Stations

Docking stations allow a drone to land, avoid bad weather, recharge or refuel, and drop off and pick up packages.

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A Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives panel approved legislation to privatize the U.S. air traffic control system as part of a six-year bill to authorize funding for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
A Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives panel approved legislation to privatize the U.S. air traffic control system as part of a six-year bill to authorize funding for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Amazon has been awarded a patent for docking stations for its delivery drones that will be built on tall structures, such as lampposts or churches, and allow the unmanned machines to recharge and pick up packages.

"The docking stations may incorporate a number of features to enable unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to fly longer routes, to fly routes more accurately and to provide shelter during adverse conditions," Amazon's U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) filing said.

Amazon is currently grappling with regulators on getting regulation passed that supports its plan to deliver parcels by unmanned flying machines. Toward the end of June, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued new rules that essentially killed off Amazon's drone plans.

Still, the U.S. e-commerce giant has been filing patents and testing out its drones. The latest patent describes docking stations that could be installed on cell towers, church steeples, office buildings, electric poles and generally tall structures. It would allow a drone to land, avoid bad weather, recharge or refuel, and drop off and pick up packages.

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