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Attention UK Drone Flyers – Amazon Wants You!

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Retail giant looking to recruit experienced drone flight engineers at Cambridge site

Amazon has advertised for a drone flight engineer as it looks to ramp up the launch of its unmanned delivery option in the UK.

The vacancy for a “Flight Operations Engineer – Prime Air” was posted on Amazon’s internal corporate job site, and will be based at the company’s Cambridge site with Evi Technologies, the UK start-up that Amazon purchased in 2013.

The advertisement states that “Flight test experience, manned or unmanned, is preferred,” along with “5+ years of relevant aviation experience, either civilian or military, with either manned or unmanned aviation” as well as “2+ years in a safety-related role, such as Aviation Safety Officer, formal safety training, or Fulfillment Center safety operations.”

Prime Air 2 Anazon drone delivery copterExpansion

Among the responsibilities of the role are, “Participating in the planning of flight test evolutions to ensure that the planned operations are consistent with our policies and any safety policies placed on the team by regulatory agencies for a particular location”, with the lucky candidate also getting to have a major say in writing and enhancing Amazon’s “Flight Safety Policies”.

Safety appears to be a major part of the job, with other roles including acting as the ‘Safety Observer’ during all drone test flights, checking that all vehicles conform to the correct safety policies, and documenting all flights and processes for use in certification checks.

Amazon first announced it would be testing drones for its deliveries back in December 2013, when CEO Jeff Bezos said that the company hoped to launch a service by 2018. The unmanned Amazon ‘octocopters’ can carry up to five pounds (2.3 kg) of cargo from the company’s distribution centres to customer homes.

The company has greatly expanded its UK workforce over the past few years as it looks to keep pace with rivals throughout the world. Last month, it announced plans to hire over a thousand new staff at its distribution centres throughout the country, taking its total UK workforce to around 7,000.

In September, Amazon also announced it would be opening a major new office in Principal, a £500m site situated between Liverpool Street and Shoreditch High Street stations in the east of the capital. The 15-storey building, currently still under development, is due to be completed in 2016, with Amazon moving in to occupy around two-thirds of the 600,000 square foot facility in early 2017.

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