Bitcraze Drones

DJI “Ban” one step closer to Law – The beginning of a gradual transition towards US technology

June 25, 2024 — 4 minutes

A proposal to ban DJI drones has passed its first major milestone in Congress, and the dial on industry chatter has been turned up to 11. Among the political grandstanding and accusations flying from Drone loyalists – it’s been hard to decipher what exactly is going to happen to you and your DJI Drone. We’re here to tell you – this has little to do with you and your Drone and more to do with how the industry will develop over the next several years or more. So relax, (the DJI product you just purchased is not in any danger of being “grounded”)… read on!


The Countering CCP Drones Act has moved forward as part of a major annual defense spending bill called the NDAA, which is typically a unanimous pass by Congress every year. If your students have been paying attention in their Social Studies class, they’ll tell you that these Bills are always packed with superfluous proposals that get trimmed down at every stage of the approval process. The NDAA has merely just passed its first committee; it still must get passed by vote in the broader House of Representatives. It then proceeds to committee in the Senate, then off to a wider vote in the Senate. Then, it goes to the President for signature into law. That signature? Not going to happen until late December. Between now and then, there is a hot election season, with many politicians showing a strong front against China. After Election Day…this grandstanding could cool off considerably – though only time will tell. For now, DJI products and other Chinese producer drones are caught in a state of tug of war.


It’s important to understand what this “ban” truly means. If passed, the current law would not ban current DJI products. It would not ground or disable any DJI product that is already available in the US Market. What the law would do is prevent DJI (and other Chinese manufacturers) from being able to attain an FCC license going forward for future products. This means DJI would be limited from introducing any new drone models to the market, however they can continue selling the models already in action. The reason for this may be to essentially tie the shoelaces of Chinese tech in the United States to give domestic Drone manufacturers a chance to catch up in the Drone race and hopefully surpass our global competitors. If we look at the adjacent – but untethered – Drones for First Responders Act proposal, we see a slowly implemented shift away from Chinese Drones for first responders in the form of tariffs over the next six years. The income from these tariffs would be rerouted toward US Drone technology investments.


Only authorized politicians and government officials truly know the security risks associated with Chinese Drone Technology, as the information is classified. What we regular citizens do know is that most politicians on both sides of the aisle agree that Chinese Drones do, in fact carry such a security risk. The threat clearly isn’t immediate, or the law truly would be an urgent “ban.” The security risk may, in fact, be a warning that long-term divestment from a strong domestic Drone Industry may eventually lead to an imminent security risk during a global conflict…aka let’s get the ball rolling on investing in our own Drone Tech. This would explain the gradual implementation of such a “ban.” 


DroneBlocks continues to view our past partnership with DJI’s former Tello EDU division in a fond light, and will continue to support our customers still implementing DJI Tello Drones. DoneBlocks continues the sale and support for various DJI Models, and will gladly continue to! Of course, we encourage any educators or hobbyists going forward to consider our newest offerings, which have been years in the making and developed specifically for educators and with promised longevity.

As a leading STEM Educator and longtime pioneer in Drone Education, DroneBlocks offers stellar DJI alternatives that are fully compliant with NDAA Regulations for those concerned about the long-term effects of their Drone products. 

Our Level II Autonomous Drone Program features the Crazyflie Drone from Bitcraze, a Swedish technology company, which is Section 889 Compliant and free of any legal fanfare or restrictions. This compliance is only one benefit on a long list for this bite-sized yet tech-packed educationally friendly classroom drone. DroneBlocks offers the Crazyflie as part of a bundle or individually and includes access to our virtual Crazyflie Simulator as well as a curriculum covering autonomous flight with block coding (DroneBlocks) and Python programming.

Our Level III Autonomous Drone Program features the DEXI Drone, designed and built by DroneBlocks and its partner, ARK Electronics. The DroneBlocks DEXI meets NDAA compliance as outlined by Section 848. This compliance is achieved because its critical electronic components—including flight controllers, radios, data transmission devices, cameras, gimbals, ground control systems, operating software, and data storage—are all manufactured in the United States. The DEXI Drone is the true “tip of the spear” when it comes to compliant drones built with Education in mind. A robust and dynamic build chocked full of software functionality that’s rarely paired with Drones- the DEXI is fully programmable and beyond.

As a stalwart of the drone community, DroneBlocks will continue to update and inform our network of any legal DJI updates as we hear them and continue to focus upward and onward. We hope you will join us!

Shop More Products

From classroom-friendly kits to hands-on tools: Explore our hardware, packages, and accessories tailored for the educational journey.