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Amazon Prime Air tests in Cambridge called ‘barking mad’

Apparently Amazon is set to start testing its Prime Air delivery drones in Cambridge, but locals aren’t best pleased with the plans.

Prime Air certainly caused a stir when it was first revealed late last year, with some accusing it of being a pre-Christmas publicity stunt. But it seems Amazon is deadly serious about the scheme – with other companies muscling in on the scene too, namely Google with its Project Wing delivery drone.

At any rate, Prime Air will be tested in Cambridge, but the idea is “barking mad”, according to Terry Holloway, the MD of Cambridge Aero Club, who spoke to the Cambridge News (spotted by The Next Web).

Holloway said: “It makes no sense to me, a barking mad idea. From a legislative point of view the Civil Aviation Authority rules as they currently exist means it's just totally unfeasible to even consider doing this.”

“Maybe the CAA will relax the rules, but then that begs all sorts of questions from the everyday man on the street. I have real concerns about how they will deliver parcels safely and then you might have yobs who will see them as targets and throw turnips at them and whatever else.”

Turnip hurling yobs being a major problem in Cambridge, of course. Holloway is right about airspace legislation, of course, and how that will be tackled also popped up as an immediate issue when Amazon announced its plans for US test flights.

Amazon owns Cambridge startup Evi Technologies, and recently advertised for a flight operations engineer in Cambridge, to “execute flights while working closely with our flight engineering and flight test teams in Seattle”.

Evasive manoeuvres are doubtless included under the skills listing for the role, with an emphasis on turnip dodging.