Jeff Bezos, as always, is thinking outside the box — way, way outside.
Sunday night on “60 Minutes,” Mr. Bezos, the Amazon founder, floated the notion of using drones to deliver packages. He showed Charlie Rose a video of a tiny helicopter seizing a package from a warehouse and airlifting it to a house. The drone then took off again.
Amazon has already named its future delivery system Prime Air. “I know this looks like science fiction,” Mr. Bezos said. “It’s not.”
Still, even the hyper-optimistic Mr. Bezos cautioned that there were “years of additional work from this point.” He told the show the hardest challenge would be convincing the Federal Aviation Administration that this is a good idea.
Well, the F.A.A. and everyone else. The commercial use of drones was legalized early in 2012, but there has been a good deal of outcry about drones possibly being used for surveillance. Some communities are banning local police from using drones. How receptive they would be to e-commerce applications is unclear.
An Amazon promotional page for Prime Air, however, said the delivery system was practically a done deal.
“From a technology point of view, we’ll be ready to enter commercial operations as soon as the necessary regulations are in place,” the company said. It said that could be two years away.