Amazon Prime Air will soon be dropping packages on your doorstep if Jeff Bezos has his way. The retail giant has a fleet of speedy drones waiting to swarm through your neighborhood if only the FAA would ease inconvenient restrictions, like the present 100 mph limit. Meantime, some sectors of society are already taking advantage of drone delivery according to a New York Times story by Michael S. Schmidt. Citing the Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville, S.C., Schmidt describes a zero-dark-thirty scenario:
“…the blinking lights of an unidentified flying object approaching the facility’s fence. A corrections officer was dispatched to investigate, but by the time she got there, all she could see was a man running away into the dense forest that surrounds the prison.”
The next morning officers found a package tangled in the power lines outside the prison. A small drone had crashed in the bushes nearby. The package contained a cellphone, tobacco and cannabis. Bryan P. Stirling, director of the South Carolina Department of Corrections, told the Times, “We put up higher fences to stop people from throwing things over them. Now they’re just flying over them.”
In January, a drone with blue and red flashing lights was found inside a recreational yard at a prison in Bennettsville, S.C.. That drone is reported to have been carrying 55 grams of synthetic marijuana and a cellphone charger.
“It’s almost like we need an Iron Dome like Israel has to stop it,” Mr. Stirling said, referring to the missile interceptor system used by Israel to neutralize Hamas rockets. “But they have a robust defense budget.”
Ever since a drone landed on the White House lawn in January, law enforcement agencies have been looking at ways to restrict unmanned flight. Authorities in South Carolina have taken measures to make it harder for drones to fly over prisons, including building enormous new towers that enable officers to see farther around their facilities.
DJI, the company that manufactured the drone that crashed at the White House, is working on new geofencing software . The company hopes to create no-fly zones for “sensitive institutions and national borders.”
It only seems a matter of time before a delivery middle man like Eaze invests in a drone fleet for legal pot delivery.