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Government bans government drones?

The Unfolding Impact of the American Security Drone Act on Government Drone Programs

Published on 01/10/2023

The enactment of the American Security Drone Act of 2023 has cast a shadow over government agencies utilizing DJI or Autel drones, prompting a reassessment of their strategies.

Signed into law in December 2023, the act prohibits the use of federal funds for the purchase or operation of DJI or Autel drones, presenting a unique set of challenges for state and local communities.

State and Local Challenges in Drone Program Funding

For government entities heavily reliant on federal grants for equipment and labor, the restrictions imposed by the American Security Drone Act pose substantial obstacles.

Particularly impactful in communities facing economic struggles or drug-related issues, the prohibition on utilizing federal dollars appears to impact new drone acquisitions as well as all resources purchased with federal dollars to use/fly or transport DJI or Autel drones.

Amidst this landscape, non-profit public charities like AFRS, authorized to provide services to the government, find themselves exempt from the these new limitations.

AFRS's Financial Independence and Uninterrupted Services

As a testament to financial independence, AFRS purchase of drones and field equipment was done so with private dollars and not federal grants. Therefore AFRS stands unaffected by these most recent drone bans that impact typical internal government drone programs. This positions AFRS to continue providing essential emergency drone response services to municipalities and states, ensuring that public safety remains a top priority.

Addressing Security Concerns: AFRS's Strategic Measures

The security concerns surrounding DJI and Autel drones are often amplified in public forums, prompted AFRS to adopt a strategic approach. AFRS keeps DJI drones in offline mode for the majority of the time and employs network sniffing tools to assess security. This meticulous practice is crucial in countering narratives driven by vested interests.

AFRS's Dual Commitment: National Security and Technological Superiority

AFRS, unwavering in its commitment to national security, adapts to regulatory changes without compromising its mission. While eligible for federal grants and contracts, AFRS consciously avoids utilizing federal dollars for operating DJI or Autel drones. This commitment ensures AFRS's ability to provide efficient and secure emergency response services.

Because AFRS is also registered as a FEMA disaster organization - We also have some drone equipment that is acceptable to be used for Federal contracts and services.

Conclusion: AFRS's Resilience and Dedication to Public Safety

In the midst of regulatory shifts brought about by the American Security Drone Act, AFRS stands resilient, continuing to deliver exceptional public safety emergency services. By addressing security concerns and leveraging cutting-edge drone technology, AFRS remains a defender of communities and families in need. For local government agencies who have questions, please consult your legal counsel to learn more about these new Federal restrictions and how it impacts your drone program and federal dollars. Don't put your Federal dollars at risk! Utilizing shared services from AFRS can help you wash your hands of this never ending complexity of internal drone operations.


AFRS is a non-profit organization authorized to provide emergency services to any government agency. If your government drone program has been negatively impacted by these recent Federal changes, please contact us at 614-642-4900 and select option 2 to schedule an appoint to discuss how we can serve your community.

By utilizing AFRS your government agency can wash your hands of the obstacles of operating your own internal drone program and benefit from our shared emergency services designed to compliment your community.

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