US Congressmen have opposed a House version of the National Defense Authorization Act that would prohibit federal or federal agencies from buying Chinese drone technology.
Manufacturers, government agencies, and public safety agencies using public funds have been waiting for the outcome of negotiations on the National Defense Authorization Act. One version of the law in the House of Representatives called for a comprehensive ban on “obtaining commercially available drones or covered unmanned aerial vehicles, or components thereof, for use in such drones or unmanned aerial vehicles that are manufactured or assembled by a covered foreign entity, including flight controls, radios , Core processors, circuit boards, cameras or gimbals. “
The provision could have had an impact on drone programs across the country. Two former House representatives spoke out against the ban, saying, “These proposals were developed arbitrarily and extensively, which will lead to unintended consequences.” The Senate version of the NDAA did not contain a ban on foreign drone technology.
Now the conference committee, which is responsible for voting on the differences between the House and Senate proposals, has opposed the NDAA version that is being voted on.
DJI, the world’s leading drone manufacturer, made a statement this afternoon: “We’re delighted that NDAA conference attendees have taken seriously the numerous concerns raised by federal agencies, American corporations, industry associations, universities, and end-users. A home country ban would have serious, unintended consequences . “
Vic Moss, Vice President and COO of the Drone Service Providers Alliance, told the story this morning. “This is a great example of a community coming together to convey to Congress that banning products based on the original’s land is like using a hand grenade to kill a mosquito. Sure it would work, but the collateral damage would be incredibly unnecessary. Especially if you already have a fly swatter available. Many in this ward wrote to the committees explaining why this was completely unnecessary. And hopefully those who supported this bill in Congress now understand that they shouldn’t take some people’s word with an ax to ponder the real truth straight from the community concerned. ”
Miriam McNabb is editor-in-chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a marketplace for professional drone services, and a fascinating observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has authored over 3,000 articles focusing on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam graduated from the University of Chicago and has over 20 years experience in high-tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For advice or writing on the drone industry, email Miriam.
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