Virginia Governor Launches New Wallops Runway

May 19, 2017

Wallops Flight Facility

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's governor has helped launch a $5 million runway dedicated to drone research and development on the Eastern Shore.

The office of Gov. Terry McAuliffe said in a press release Thursday that he also flew in an aircraft that can be piloted remotely.

The Daily Press reports that NASA Wallops Flight Facility says the governor wouldn't use the new runway, but on one of NASA's larger airstrips on its main base a few miles away. A pilot was aboard the plane as backup.

Virginia Space, which manages the state-owned Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, is seeking customers for the airstrip. Officials say the 3,000-foot long runway built for unmanned aerial vehicles or systems on the north end of the island is the only one of its kind in the country.