Amazon Prime Air holds first presentation since launching drone service

The meeting included a presentation by Amazon’s Economic Development Manager, Shirlynn Fortson.
The meeting included a presentation by Amazon’s Economic Development Manager, Shirlynn Fortson.(KBTX)
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 4:50 PM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Amazon held a presentation for the Bryan-College Station Chamber of Commerce Transportation Committee that included over a dozen leaders from across the Brazos Valley.

This was the first time Amazon had a representative in front of a crowd since launching its Amazon Prime drone delivery service late last year. The meeting included a presentation by Amazon’s Economic Development Manager, Shirlynn Fortson.

Fortson said a handful of customers have used the drone delivery service in College Station since taking off. Something many in the group were shocked to hear.

That is, except for College Station City Councilmember, Mark Smith. Smith lives near the fulfillment center where the drones take off from and says he has heard some of those deliveries.

“It sounds a lot like somebody using their weed eater a couple of blocks over, it was not very intrusive, and then I went out in my yard and I couldn’t see it but I could hear it,” Smith said.

The presentation began with communicating Amazon’s goal for customer-centric service, possible future expansion and a bit about how the service and drones work.

The group asked questions following the presentation, which included hopes for additional feedback from Amazon leaders.

“There were a lot of questions that weren’t answered. We had questions about the altitude. We had some questions related to certain eligibility requirements and the presenter wasn’t able to answer all of those questions. But they pledged that they’re going to continue to be in the community and maintain a relationship with us. So hopefully as it moves forward, we’ll have some of those questions answered,” Bryan City Councilmember, James Edge, said.

When discussing the future of Amazon drones in Brazos County, Edge says he’s excited to hear them talk about expansion. With deliveries happening within only a four-mile radius of the center, Edge says Bryan can’t be reached right now.

“I would hope, in order to maintain the demand that they would require, that they would have to expand that range of little bit. So I’m hopeful that it would get into certain areas of Bryan,” he said. “I’m hopeful that it’s an ongoing relationship. I know that the City of Bryan has had communications with Amazon, and the City of College Station has had communications with Amazon. It’s an enormous multinational corporation. It could mean great things for our community to build on that relationship. So I’m really grateful that they sent someone down from Atlanta today and she’s pledged that they’re going to continue to maintain that communication and maintain that relationship.”

KBTX has been reaching out to Amazon communications for weeks regarding Prime customer inquiries about delivery delays, so far those questions have gone unanswered.