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Amazon’s about to launch its drone deliveries program. Citizens in the area aren’t happy

June 21, 2022, 3:39 PM UTC

Amazon has long talked about its desire to deliver packages via drone, but citizens of Lockeford, Calif., where the company will begin testing the service for the first time, say they were caught by surprise after learning that the sky would soon be buzzing with robotic devices.

Amazon began reaching out to locals last week to let them know that anyone within a four-mile radius of the distribution service could have select items delivered to them via drone. It didn’t go over as smoothly as the company had hoped.

“I don’t want drones flying around my house—we live in the country,” resident Greg Baroni told the Washington Post.

Privacy concerns are one issue. The noise of the drones is another.

“I have a large amount of livestock and horses, and a drone would easily frighten the animals,” Naydeene Koster told the Post. “Horses will run straight through a barbed-wire or really any kind of fence when they think they’re in danger. I’ve seen horses kill themselves over a flying balloon; I’d hate to see the damage a flying drone would cause coming into their area.”

Lockeford is a small unincorporated community located about 100 miles east of San Francisco and 40 miles south of Sacramento. Authorities were notified of the company’s plans six months ago, but residents only found out last week.

The Amazon Prime Air delivery drones measure 6.5 feet wide and are almost four feet tall. Amazon might be ready to begin deliveries, but it still has a few hurdles to clear: such as approval from San Joaquin County, where Lockeford is located, as well as from the Federal Aviation Administration.

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