Companies Gear Up For Drones

Staten Island business bank cites research, rules, training under way


STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Indications are multiplying that 2015 might go into history books as the year of the drones, and the prospects for their use here on the Island seem quite likely.


Victory State Bank, Staten Island's only community-based commercial bank, finds that signs abound where non-military uses are being contemplated or attempted.


In February, the Federal Aviation Administration announced proposed guidelines to govern the way civilian drone aircraft using United States airspace. Drones are officially called unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).


Around that same time, leaders with the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership at Virginia Tech outlined a research plan to study how reporters could use unmanned aircraft to gather news.


Advance Publications Inc., A.H. Belo Corp., the Associated Press, Fusion, Gannett Co. Inc., Getty Images, NBCUniversal, The E.W. Scripps Co., The New York Times Co., Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc., and The Washington Post are united in the research.


Advance Publications, of course, has a major local presence here with the Staten Island Advance.


Currently when an occurrence needs eyes in the sky, reporters tend to call press contacts at agencies like NYPD to learn what a helicopter has been observing.


On March 9, reported the first FAA-approved use of drones for newsgathering occurred when CNN flew a drone in Selma, Ala. prior to the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches.


Virginia Tech reported that the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership leaders say they will work with users and the Federal Aviation Administration to determine equipment and training needs.


During the course of the research, classroom training is combined with hands-on instruction, during which media representatives will be trained to fly their aircraft.

Research flights were to begin in isolated, rural areas and progress through semi-urban and urban areas, Virginia Tech said.


Under the FAA's rules, drone operators would have to get an “operator certificate” – but not a pilot's license – pass a test on aeronautical knowledge and be at least 17 years old.


There is a possibility that in coming months more drones could be flying for commercial uses.


Once the rules are implemented, initial indications are that the FAA would be mandating that drones weigh less than 55 pounds, fly below a 500-foot altitude, stay out of flight paths, avoid proximity to airports and travel no faster than 100 mph.


Part of the rules would require an operator to keep a drone in sight.


Aerial photography for inspecting real estate as well as transmission facilities and infrastructure locations are among the anticipated uses.


The newsgathering functions being researched at Virginia Tech would seem to benefit from the FAA's rules, as well.


There is a deadline of tomorrow for public comments, after which the FAA says it will move toward making its rules official.


About Victory State Bank

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQX: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office is in the community of Great Kills, and branches are in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online at


Media Contact: 

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509

Mobile: 917‑715‑8761


Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.