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Amazon is considering floating warehouses in the sky

Friday 30 December 2016 | 10:17 AM CET

Amazon has been awarded a patent that describes a logistics technology it calls airborne fulfillment center (AFC).

The AFC is essentially an airship or blimp that is capable of flying at altitudes of 45,000 feet or more. The airship will be stocked with lots of products. When a customer places an order, a drone or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) will fly down and deliver the package. Amazon insists that this would require little power because the drone would be gliding down rather than having to take off and land.

The patent filing was awarded in April 2016. If the company decides to move forward with this plan, Amazon will likely need regulatory approval from aviation authorities. This is not the first patent that Amazon has been awarded regarding drone deliver. In July 2016, a patent showed how Amazon was thinking about tall buildings and structures such as lampposts or churches as docking stations for drones to recharge. Another patent described how drones would "talk" to each other to plan routes and communicate, CNBC reports.

Amazon successfully trialed its first delivery by drone in the UK earlier in December 2016 and is pushing ahead with plans to make this widely available.

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