Is Amazon’s vision for the future of shipping realistic?

Posted at 6:08 PM, Dec 02, 2013

RICHMOND, VA (WTVR) -- On CBS News' 60 Minutes Sunday, Amazon revealed what many consider a game changer.

The company announced it is developing "Octocopters" or drones to deliver packages from distribution sites directly to customers doors.

CEO Jeff Bezos says he hopes to have his drones flying with the next five years.

Presently, the technology allows for the Amazon drones to travel within a ten mile radius from distribution sites, making a half hour delivery possible.

In the Richmond area, that means if you live within a ten mile radius of the Dinwiddie or Chester site, your definition of "express shipping" could change forever.

What do customers think? Most customers CBS 6 spoke with appeared split on the idea but aviation expert John Mazza says what Amazon is proposing is likely more than five years away from reality.

"It is going to be many, many years before this is a reality," Mazza said.

Mazza pointed to the fact the FAA has until 2015 to outline the regulations private companies must follow for the use of drones.

"I got a feeling what you are going to see is a very limited and strict implementation of flying the drones," Mazza added.

Safety concerns Mazza says may also prevent Amazon from fully realizing its dream right away, adding that the idea of an aircraft making a landing on a neighborhood where children play could be, and should be a concern.

"It has been 100 years since the Wright Brothers flew and people are still worried about planes falling out of the skies - and those are with pilots in it," Mazza said.

The Amazon Drone would be GPS navigated and not manned or flown by a pilot like a traditional drone.