Purchasing China Drones

Summary of documents and upcoming actions for National and Florida Drone operators in government. There are several actions all pretty much directed at eliminating China Manufactured drones and drone components for the US market. The Florida law requires removal of all China drones by july 2022 and the now failed law by Rick Scott has a broad scope of what’s to come. The Florida law specially names DJI and Autel manufactures but the federal level text covers all components and data transmission

Trumps executive order Executive Order 13981 of January 18, 2021

United States Government operations involving UAS require accessing, collecting, and maintaining data, which could reveal sensitive information. The use of UAS and critical components manufactured and developed by foreign adversaries, or by persons under their control, may allow this sensitive information to be accessed by or transferred to foreign adversaries. Furthermore, the manufacturing of UAS involves combining several critical components, including advanced manufacturing techniques, artificial intelligence, microelectronic components, and multi-spectral sensors. The Nation’s capability to produce UAS and certain critical UAS components domestically is critical for national defense and the security and strength of our defense industrial base.

It is the policy of the United States, therefore, to prevent the use of taxpayer dollars to procure UAS that present unacceptable risks and are manufactured by, or contain software or critical electronic components from, foreign adversaries, and to encourage the use of domestically produced UAS.


DOJ (The issue here is china companies have to provide requested info to the CCP)

No agency may use DOJ funds for any unmanned aircraft manufactured by a “Covered Foreign Entity: … any entity that is determined or designated, within the Department of Justice, to be subject to or vulnerable to extrajudicial direction from a foreign government,” which includes drones by the world’s leading manufacturer, DJI.
DOJ is referencing China’s National Intelligence Law passed in 2017, (https://www.lawfareblog.com/beijings-new-national-intelligence-law-defense-offense) which requires Chinese companies to cooperate with the government; and other regulations that could require companies to provide access to their network assets upon demand.


Dept of Defense


GSA Procurement


Florida December 29, 2021

 Florida Department of Management Services (DMS) has banned the acquisition and use of DJI drones by government agencies.

section 934.50(7), Florida Statutes

“Department” means the Department of Management Services.
2. “Governmental agency” means any state, county, local, or municipal governmental entity or any unit of government created or established by law that uses a drone for any purpose.(b) By January 1, 2022, the department, in consultation with the state chief information officer, shall publish on the department’s website a list of approved manufacturers whose drones may be purchased or otherwise acquired and used by a governmental agency under this section. An approved manufacturer must provide

appropriate safeguards to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data collected, transmitted, or stored by a drone

The department may consult state and federal agencies and any relevant federal guidance in developing the list of approved manufacturers required under this paragraph.(c) Beginning on the date the department publishes the list of approved drone manufacturers under paragraph (b), a governmental agency may only purchase or otherwise acquire a drone from an approved manufacturer.(d) By July 1, 2022, a governmental agency that uses any drone not produced by an approved manufacturer shall submit to the department a comprehensive plan for discontinuing the use of such a drone. The department shall adopt rules identifying the requirements of the comprehensive plan required under this paragraph.(e) 

By January 1, 2023, all governmental agencies must discontinue the use of drones not produced by an approved manufacturer.

The department shall establish by rule, consistent with any federal guidance on drone security, minimum security requirements for governmental agency drone use to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data collected, transmitted, or stored by a drone. The department may consult federal agencies in establishing the minimum security requirements required under this paragraph.

Approved Drone Manufacturers

Pursuant to section 943.50(7) (b), Florida Statutes, the department hereby provides the following list of approved manufacturers whose drones may be purchased or otherwise acquired and used by a governmental agency under section 943.50, Florida Statutes:

  1. Skydio
  2. Parrot
  3. Altavian
  4. Teal Drones
  5. Vantage Robotics

This list provides approved manufacturers but does not guarantee that all models produced by these manufacturers meet an individual governmental agency’s specific needs or meet relevant security requirements.

Beginning July 1, 2022, all governmental agencies using drones not on the department’s approved list must submit a comprehensive plan for discontinuing their use to the department.

Please monitor this site and the Florida Administrative Register for updates related to the department’s obligations under section 943.50, Florida Statutes.
Drone Bill not passed but for reference


DJI offers users Data Mode (doesn’t look like it’s gonna cut it)

“Local Data Mode” , can be activated which will prevent the app from sending or receiving any data over the internet. DJI state’s that “This adds an additional layer of security for operators of flights involving critical infrastructure, governmental projects or other sensitive missions.”
Because the mode blocks all internet data, the DJI Pilot app will not be able to detect the location of the user, show the map and geofencing information such as No Fly Zones and temporary flight restrictions. Nor will it notify drone operators of firmware updates. Telemetry data on flight logs such as altitude, distance or speed will remain stored on the aircraft even if the user deactivates Local Data Mode.
When using Local Data Mode, drone operators are reminded that they are solely responsible for the safety of their flight operation and that they understand that features that may enhance and support the safety of their operations, but that rely on internet connectivity, are no longer available.

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