Once a very long time ago, a young Yale student wrote a paper that proposed using aircraft to improve distribution. The widely reported story, but not the FedEx CEO’s memory, claims that the visionary concept received a “C” as a grade. Fred Smith’s thesis proved its value as the express delivery business has succeeded and been replicated by other companies. Aviation, as a means of delivering products, redesigned how manufacturers and suppliers their businesses from how they market to their customers (actually how and when people buy), to the volume and location of their inventory, to pricing and beyond.
A few years ago, a young Jeff Bezos saw the potential of the internet to sell anything. He left a lucrative job on Wall Street, moved to Seattle, WA and started Amazon in a garage. On CBS’ 60 Minutes Sunday night, he unveiled a visionary plan to use drones or UAVs to reduce the period from purchase to delivery to a mere 30 minutes. The technology needed to support such a system will test the operational capability of NextGen. Hopefully the long term perspective of the FAA UAV plan will incorporate such a future use of the airspace. From an aviation industry perspective, this Amazon development holds great potential.Share this article: