Monday 2 December 2013 7:28 am

Hope for drone-based delivery service in the UK where 143 UAV licenses have been issued

While Amazon's drone-based Prime Air delivery service is held up by FAA rules in the US – 143 licenses for drones have been already been grantsd in the UK.

With licenses granted for vehicles weighing below 7kg, 7-20kg, and over 20kg, drones could one day replace the traditional postie.

As City A.M.'s managing editor Marc Sidwell argues – drones needn't be scary. After all, "there's nothing scary about having your takeaway delivered by a flying robot."

A Freedom of Information request to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) found that as of 27 September there were 143 active Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) licenses.

Amazon's Prime Air prototypes can only carry objects weighing up to 2.3kg (which accounts for 86 per cent of the items they deliver), and it's unlikely that those sub-7kg drones will be powerful enough to carry packages of that size.

Only one company holds licenses for drones of all sizes in the UK – BlueBear Systems Research. They're specialists in the area of unmanned drone development.

39 active UAV licenses have been issued for vehicles in the 7-20kg weight class, and 103 in the sub-7kg category.

Some of those smaller vehicle licenses are held by television networks (the BBC's Natural History and Global Video Unit are named), as well as by Staffordshire Police.