SEATTLE, Wash. --- Immediately following today's announcement that the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has cleared Amazon to test drones for online delivery, the company announced Walla Walla University's campus as its US testing site.
"We needed a semi-built up place in Washington with pretty much nothing going on," said Amazon Prime Air spokesperson, Wendy Chopper. "We heard about Walla Walla from a couple of our engineers that had gone to school there before there was so much as a Taco Bell for miles. It looked like not a whole heck of a lot had changed so we quickly decided this would be our testing ground."
Amazon is under strict FAA orders that drones must be flown at 400 ft or below during daylight hours and drones must remain within the line-of-sight of operators. To simulate meaningful product delivery, Amazon drones will offer lunch delivery to pre-selected Walla Walla students outside the residence hall window of their choice.
Chopper said that Amazon looks forward to involving the students and faculty of the university's Edward F. Cross School of Engineering for parts of the drone testing program. "We are open to suggestions from young, inventive minds," said Chopper. "You Adventists are big on early marriages so we could always look into engagement ring delivery to help automate the question-popping process for nerdy Engineering students."
Amazon has given repeated assurances that the drone testing program will respect Walla Walla's status as a faith-based school. Chopper said that, to respect Sabbath hours, Saturday drone activity will be restricted to gathering tithes and offerings at Walla Walla University Church. "Don't worry, trained pilots will operate the church collection drones, we aren't letting the regular deacons anywhere close to the controls."
Special thanks to Macman for the story idea